How Blue Phi Capital Guides SaaS Startups to Success
About Blue Phi
Blue Phi Capital helps early-stage startups manage and accelerate the FP&A function by building a modern tech stack, automating financial operations, and focusing executive teams on tactical decision-making. As the startup’s outsourced CFO, Patrick integrates the internal finance, accounting, sales, and operational data with the external market environment to help founders achieve their OKRs.
Quickly Building a Metrics Foundation for Executive Decision-Making
For early-stage startups, finding and keeping customers (traction) and building cash flow momentum (growth) are the two most important goals. But with this front-end focus, founders tend to put less effort into maintaining accurate, complete, and comprehensive data across their back-end business systems. That not only burdens the finance team with a large manual effort each month, it also adds unnecessary friction as founders search for insights that can drive opportunities and better engagement with their Board of Directors.
“When I was on the venture capital side, my main gripe with my portfolio companies was the lack of a timely and accurate information transfer, especially with financial information,” recalled Patrick Hoogendijk, Managing Partner at Blue Phi Capital. “Now, as an outsourced CFO for startups, I work to eliminate that issue by building a repeatable, scalable process for communicating with founders, executives, Boards, and future investors so that each gets what they want, when they want it.”
Patrick and his team work with no more than five high-growth startups at any given time, helping bring efficiency, scalability, and productivity to the strategic CFO role. Historically, he would begin with data hygiene, spending weeks wrangling the data from disparate ERP, CRM, and HRIS data sources (including employee’s brains) to ensure trustworthy metric calculations. He would then find a common system to communicate the business metrics to each of the startup’s stakeholders. Historically, this would be an Excel file or Google Sheet with many tabs that was shared with all parties.
“It’s mandatory that the startups get their data clean first and only then work on repeatability and reporting,” Patrick said. “My clients shouldn’t be paying me to clean up QuickBooks or waste time wrangling data into Excel charts, and then have to do it again at every month- and quarter-end. We needed a solution that could help us gather, reconcile, and communicate that information with useful insights and without delay.”
“VCs, executives, the Board; they all want to see something different and see it within 24 hours. We needed a solution that could help us communicate that information quickly and reliably.”
Using Mosaic as the Startup’s Real-Time Business DashBoard
Blue Phi Capital manages a startup’s financial & business operations so that the founders, executives, and Board have access to top-line and drill-down metrics for tactical decision-making. Plus, since the team works across several startups simultaneously, it needs an easy-to-use, easy-to-access platform for all stakeholders.
“Mosaic solves so many of the problems I’ve had over the past 25 years of being a VC, CFO, and startup Founder,” said Patrick. “I’ve sat on both sides of the table and only Mosaic gives me the power to provide both startups and their investors with the information they need, while being repeatable and scalable for me as the outsourced CFO.”
Patrick uses Mosaic to integrate existing ERP, CRM, HRIS, and billing data to create a single source of financial truth. His team then focuses on streamlining and bringing repeatability to the financial process, which he sees as the common struggle for startup CFOs. Finally, he uses Mosaic to communicate tactical, metrics-based insights to the internal & external decision makers.
“VCs, executives, the Board; they all want to see something different and see it within 24 hours, ” said Patrick. “During a meeting, we now just put Mosaic up on a screen and show them what they want to see in real-time. When a Board member or exec inevitably asks about pulling forward the sales pipeline, moving into that new market segment in Year 2 instead of Year 3, or how a change in departmental headcount will affect burn, we make the change live and show the results in Mosaic.
“We’ll put Mosaic up on a screen during the Board meeting to show them what they want to see in real-time. When they pose questions about drill-down expenses or changes to forecast scenarios, we show the answers in Mosaic — live.”
If they have to wait even a day or two for the answer, they’re on to the next portfolio company and have lost their train of thought. And that means the founders have lost valuable experiential input on key decisions. Mosaic helps us get that input immediately and keep the startup moving toward a frictionless business model.”
Less Time Wrangling Data, More Time Answering Strategic Questions
With Mosaic, Patrick is able to give his startup clients more bang for their outsourced CFO buck. After a quick data hygiene effort at the beginning of an engagement, the startups now can have confidence in their metrics, and a low-effort, repeatable financial process. This empowers the founders to make faster, more informed tactical and strategic decisions without questioning data accuracy.
“Mosaic helps me simplify so I can communicate the top-level information that startups need,” Patrick added. “QuickBooks and other accounting software encourages you to show lots and lots of line items, but that creates a false sense of accuracy and wastes time for executives and investors. They don’t care about the nitty gritty — they care about rates, ratios, and trends. That’s why I love Mosaic.”
Patrick says Mosaic has helped him cut down month-end and quarter-end reporting time by 80%, turn-around forecasts and requested what-if scenarios within 24 hours, and elevate the conversation beyond the accounting details by focusing on insights from relevant metrics. Mosaic also helps him give startup teams an edge with investors because they’re more likely to ask insightful questions when provided with metrics charts instead of a data-dump of numbers in tables.
“The Board meeting is where a CFO can go from being an accountant to being a strategic source of value,” said Patrick. “The Board is there to advise you, but you can’t get to their expertise unless you have a dashboard like Mosaic to guide the discussion. It shifts the dynamic from the Board grilling you on past expense details to you asking future-focused questions of the Board.”
For the Blue Phi team, Mosaic gets Patrick’s team out of slow, manual spreadsheets and into impactful reporting and forecasting that adds real value for clients. That helps Patrick scale while also being an effective guide for business success.
“The ROI of Mosaic is measured in the ‘time no longer wasted,’” Patrick concluded. “Once the founders and executives see the value, they’re in Mosaic every day, slicing/dicing analytics to find root causes, building more realistic customer acquisition models, and running 3-6 month headcount scenarios in a matter of minutes. And that’s when I start getting the really interesting questions: what are the costs of different go-to-market strategies, how will the top-line change with a shift in business model, which part of the customer acquisition funnel should they focus on, et cetera. Stuff that makes a difference.”