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Meet Didi Gurfinkel -DataRails founder reveals how COVID-19 put Financial Planning & Analysis center stage in companies

Today we have selected Didi Gurfinkel to take his interview. He is CEO and Co-founder of DataRails.

First of all, how are you and your team doing in these COVID-19 times?

Thanks. We are doing well. We continue to put the safety of our employees first and have adopted a hybrid model of working from home and coming to the office, which is great for our team and us. In terms of the company, we have seen enormous growth in the past year. DataRails is a data-driven B2B Fintech platform revolutionizing how financial professionals to access, process, analyze, and present company data.

We serve Financial planning and Analysis professionals. The need to have real-time and forward-facing financial predictions in a company has been proven and has become a priority during the pandemic. DataRails has seen explosive growth. As a result, being the most advanced solution that mirrors the exact processes that finance leaders are comfortable with.

Founded in 2015, between 2020 and 2021, DataRails has grown from 15 to 137 employees and is set to reach a customer base of 1,300 by the end of 2022. In June 2021, DataRails announced $43.5M Series A funding to continue the US, UK, and Canada demand.

Tell us about you, your career, how you founded or joined this company?

TI started DataRails because I was a GM and manager of a large business unit at Cisco. I spent so much time on spreadsheets for every finance, forecasting, and revenue recognition process. Huge spreadsheets were sent back and forth to the headquarters in San Jose. At some point, the engineering part started to think about this as a problem we needed to solve.

We came up with the concept that instead of replacing Excel, like the typical SaaS company, let’s find a way to leverage Excel. To let the users keep using Excel, but to do it in an enterprise-grade, with automation with databasing within a controlled environment. This is how DataRails was founded.

How does your company innovate?

Our team of engineers is constantly innovating to provide a seamless and intuitive experience for an audience of finance leaders who need simplicity, real-time insights, confidence in their numbers, and insights to share with their board. DataRails is the biggest advance in financial reporting and analysis since the creation of Excel.

DataRails’ patented “elastic database technology” sits as a layer directly on top of Microsoft Excel, automating the process of consolidating and analyzing financial data. It unifies data across all systems and provides a single source of truth for finance leaders and CEOs to understand data and forecast the future in their industry. We have also created within the platform the first BI solution designed for finance leaders.

How does the Coronavirus pandemic affect your business, and how are you Coping?

The pandemic has affected us by forcing us to find new ways to make sure that our employees are coping and getting everything they need for business and happy. Our employees are the biggest asset, and the move to hybrid working reflects the need to balance work with home and family lives.

Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?

We remain sensitive to our prospective client’s needs and the difficulties many companies face, navigating the continually shifting challenges. However, in our case, those in finance who had maybe put off automating certain processes and better predicting financial outcomes have realized that the time to do it is now.

What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?

Well, of course, we use DataRails to consolidate all our financial information to forecast our financial needs into the future. Beyond that, we, of course, use Zoom, Teams, and simple calls with the staff to check they are doing okay.

Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?

We do not have any competitors. We are the only financial planning and analysis solution made entirely in Excel, providing complete flexibility with existing processes and a short implementation time. Many customers come to us after finding other solutions extremely difficult and unwieldy. We will continue to work with our customers to understand their needs and provide software they rely on to ensure business growth.

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