How 1build Cut Forecasting and Analysis Time by 92% and Started Growing with Confidence
“I’m not a financial expert by trade. If you need me to build out a three statement model from scratch in spreadsheets, it’s going to be a struggle. Being able to pull all the necessary levers in a Mosaic forecast model and look at the outcomes in real time with our CEO has been wildly helpful.”
Head of Business Operations & Strategy, 1build
1build is an easy-to-use cost estimating platform that allows construction companies to manage contracts to bid with confidence by bringing real-time cost data, takeoffs, and expert estimators all in one place. The company helps builders win more jobs by providing the most reliable material and labor prices and enabling customization for local markets. The company was part of Y Combinator’s W20 and raised a $14.5 million Series A led by Greycroft in September 2021.
Slow, Unscalable Financial Modeling and Analysis
1build is committed to its vision of making construction estimating easy for its customers with software and services powered by real-time, local cost data — but during its Seed and Series A stages, iteration has been key to nailing down the business and go-to-market models to execute that vision.
“Over the last year, we’ve evolved significantly in terms of the lines of business we offer and the way we price deals,” said Kit. “Each update can have a major impact on the amount of cash coming into the business month to month and we need to be able to stay on top of the numbers.”
The 1build team realized that their financial modeling and analysis processes weren’t capable of keeping pace with those iterations.
They were relying on fractional CFO and accounting services to build models based on their requests. Each request took a two-week turnaround for the third-party firm to create a requested model.
“Inevitably, the model wouldn’t be quite right because those third parties aren’t embedded in the business. They don’t have every piece of information,” said Kit. “By the time the model came back, we’d already moved on from the question we were trying to answer to a different one.”
Because 1build wasn’t in a position to bring on a full-time finance hire, they needed a tool that could incorporate all operational data, support more complex modeling needs, and “spit out answers to ad hoc questions lightning fast” — in a package that was accessible to the Head of Business Operations, Head of Operations, and CEO who were jointly handling financial responsibilities.
“We knew there had to be a tool that balanced ease of use and depth of functionality. The legacy enterprise tools were too big and complex for us. A lot of other tools either look great and lack functionality or have great functionality and weren’t easy to use. We looked for two weeks and found that Mosaic offered the perfect balance. It was a no brainer.”
A Strategic Finance Platform Accessible to Every Stakeholder
When 1build started working with Mosaic, the primary goal was to be able to make changes to financial models and run analyses at a moment’s notice while also being able to trust the numbers.
The value of the platform quickly became clear as 1build thought through a pricing model change.
“I was able to update a model in Mosaic and show the impact of a switch to monthly billing instead of annual billing right on a call with our Head of Ops, Head of Sales, and CEO,” said Kit. “For them to see the impact of our pricing decisions on cash flow and runway in real time was so helpful. It helps us make more strategic, data-driven decisions as we evolve and scale.”
Instead of waiting multiple weeks for a fractional CFO to update a forecast model to answer ad hoc questions about business growth, 1build can now look at data in real time and have more meaningful, strategic conversations in the moment.
“I can share out updated actuals ahead of month-end review meetings so our CEO can go through them in advance and we can go into the meeting ready to have meaningful conversations instead of just regurgitating basic spend data. For the first time, our CEO is walking out of those meetings really confident in the numbers.”
In times of market uncertainty, stakeholders need deep insight and real-time visibility into how strategic decisions impact runway. Easy access to metrics like new burn, cash runway, cash flow, and other operational metrics gives every key stakeholder at 1build the insights necessary to make strategic financial decisions.
92% Faster Modeling and Analysis Without a Finance Hire
The ability to generate forecasts and analyze the numbers in real time is enabling 1build to operate longer without bringing on the first full-time finance leader, a move that saved the business a six-figure salary.
“If you have somebody closing the books either externally or internally, a tool like Mosaic, and a few people who know enough about finance and the trajectory of the business, you can get pretty far without a full-time finance hire,” said Kit.
But it’s not just faster modeling that helps 1build operate this way. A partnership between the 1build team and the Mosaic customer success team also plays a crucial role.
“To be able to get on a call with my customer success manager and work through some of our more complex modeling needs is so helpful,” said Kit. “Getting that thought leadership input makes Mosaic feel like a true partner rather than just a software vendor.”
As 1build continues to grow as a company, they’ll be able to scale their use of Mosaic at the same time. Features like Topline Planner are going to become increasingly valuable as 1build solidifies pricing models and requires more complex scenario planning.
“As our data, go-to-market motion, and overall business model all mature, we’re looking forward to leaning into Mosaic even more for all our forecasting needs.”