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Finally… The end of Excel for treasurers?

Is it finally the end of spreadsheet thinking for Corporate Treasurers? As of 2019, 91% still used Excel as their main cash forecasting tool [1]. A stark contrast to the UK’s small and medium businesses, where around 50% adopt accounting and cash management software. [2]

But almost six in ten treasurers are no longer happy about it [3]. Stressed, and with a distinct feeling of FOMO, they want tech [4]. And they want it now.

As this last group loosens its stubborn grip on mainframes and spreadsheets, one man is on a mission to provide a much-needed technological lifeline.

A treasury-shaped gap in the market

I was surprised nobody ever did this before”, remarks Brett Turner. Confident. Californian. CFO of three firms. And founder of Trovata, a treasury tech company that’s just secured the best part of $30 million in funding. We’re sipping coffee at Money2020’s Mastercard lounge watching the event wind down. Gesturing to the myriad of stands and merch, he comments, “85% of this show is geared towards consumer applications”.

But…”, Turner reveals with a twinkle in his eye, “…What gets missed is the wholesale core of the bank”. There’s a giant treasury-shaped gap in the tech market, and it’s worth hundreds of millions.  

Moving away from 80s mindsets

Unlike their more agile counterparts, great hulking corporations do not have up-to-the-minute fintech solutions. There are different theories about why this is.  

Some believe it’s the – shall we say “traditional”- mindsets of old-school treasurers. Others point to the headache of spaghetti codes and legacy technology. And of course, someone will always be there to highlight the perceived risk and compliance issues. In the past, big businesses often wanted to create their solutions in-house, adding another layer of unnecessary complexity. But according to Turner, this isn’t a reason to disregard creaking corporates and their mighty needs.

A lot of people don’t understand the corporate use case”, Turner adds. “But for me, that’s what’s always been native”. Following his years of experience, this CEO has built a tech company around treasurers. And – with 200+ clients – it seems to be working.

Recently, the appetite for treasury tech has grown, and the success of Trovata with it.

Demand for forecasting tools rocketed since the pandemic

So, what changed? What convinced these colossal corporates to make the switch? Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was the pandemic that gave treasurers a much-needed shot in the arm. “Companies were forced to ask themselves a lot of questions!”, Turner explains. “They couldn’t afford to be caught flat-footed again”.

Today there’s an insatiable demand for highly accurate scenario forecasting. Not the kind that takes months to put together and is probably already outdated by the end of the week. They want a forecast that’s more accurate than any human could predict and can be completed in less than a second. Or as Turner phrases it, “millions of transactions in 300 milliseconds”. By the time your finger lifts from the mouse click, it’s already complete.

The predictive analytics market is expected to swell three-fold from $6.9 billion in 2019 to $23.4 billion in 2030 [5]. And for treasurers specifically, it’s expected to explode by 400% in the next two years alone [6]. Trovata has struck gold.

Trovata is at the right place at the right time

Turner’s tech is undeniably exciting. But where he truly shines is his ability to strike while the iron is white-hot. According to a recent survey, 41% of treasurers now plan on “extremely heavy spending on technology for treasury systems and cash forecasting tools[7] over the next year.

There’s a Swiss-German term that I never get to use, “überpünktlich”. It means, to be uber-punctual. The timing is so perfect, it’s superhuman. Trovata has timed this market so accurately, there is simply no other word for it.

… What’s next?

But it’s not all about the money. Turner is now on a mission to “democratize” his technology for smaller businesses too. “We can take something that’s already proven for the bigger companies”, he explains. “And leverage it at incredible price points.” SMBs are in for a treat.

With the latest round of funding, Trovata looks to dramatically expand to new clients in new regions at break-neck speeds. Europe is first on the list, with a focus on the UK. With powerful technology and superhuman timing, it’s set to be an exhilarating year ahead.

Take a moment to say goodbye to your spreadsheets, British treasurers… They’re about to get blown out of the competition.

[1] Source: High Radius

[2] Source: CODAT

[3] Source: CTM File and Strategic Treasurer

[4] Source: CTM File and Strategic Treasurer

[5] Source: MarketWatch

[6] Source: CTM File and Strategic Treasurer

[7] Source: GT Treasury and Strategic Treasurer

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