Valley-Based Accounting Software Startup FloQast Becomes a Unicorn

Caitlin Cook
Caitlin Cook is an editorial intern at dot.LA, currently earning her master's degree in mass communication from California State University, Northridge. A devoted multimedia journalist with an interest in both tech and entertainment, Cook also works as a reporter and production assistant for MUSE TV. She got her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Filmmaking from University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
Valley-Based Accounting Software Startup FloQast Becomes a Unicorn
Photo by StellrWeb on Unsplash
When Michael Whitmire was looking for a seed round for his new startup, he was told no by over 100 L.A. investors. Now, he's eyeing an IPO.

Sherman Oaks-based SaaS company FloQast has closed a Series D round of $110 million led by Meritech Capital, bringing the company's valuation to $1.2 billion and officially marking it a unicorn. General Partner at Meritech George Bischof will also join the company's board of directors.

FloQast, which opened their U.K. headquarters in London last month, will use the funds to expand globally and add more accounting functions.

FloqastA screenshot of Floqast's accounting dashboard.

But Whitmire, FloQast's co-founder and CEO, said he is particularly excited to have Meritech Capital leading their Series D, as the VC firm has invested in many companies that have gone public, something that has been a goal of his for a long time.

"Honestly, it's more important than the valuation; the funds we got involved is the headliner from my perspective," said Whitmire. "I get that valuations sell, but the funds are so good that we got involved."

The cloud-based software tackles the niche market of corporate accounting departments and works to improve their workflow and automate the process of closing the books at the end of each month. Currently, there are more than 1,400 departments globally that use FloQast.

Whitmire got the idea for FloQast when he worked as a senior accountant for talent management software company Cornerstone OnDemand. As the company was in the process of going public, Whitmire noticed some issues with the month-end close process; it was unorganized and more stressful than it needed to be.

"Imagine having a sales team without a [customer relationship management] solution. That's effectively how accounting has been operating," said Whitmire.

In what he called a "classic entrepreneur moment," Whitmire realized there must be a better way to do this. Soon after, he left Cornerstone and started FloQast.

Michael Whitmire, FloqastFloqast co-founder and CEO Michael Whitmire.

The company's minimum viable product was enough to get them into the Amplify accelerator in 2013. The accelerator was specifically looking for SaaS companies at the time, something Whitmire now sees as a stroke of luck.

Since then, much of what has contributed to the company's success is the perception of a pressing need for software like this. Many of the investors, while not accountants themselves, have experienced the struggles of not getting their numbers from accounting in time and thus saw the company's appeal.

The customers, however, are accountants, and the company's tagline, "By accountants for accountants," encapsulates what appeals to the customer base. This refers not only to the fact that two accountants co-founded the company, but that around 40% of the company's staff has a background in accounting.

"That shows through in our culture, our customer service, the product, the brand," said Whitmire. "People want to work with us because we're one of them. We're accountants, we get it, we've been there, we've been in the trenches."

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Astrolab's New SpaceX-backed Rover Could Change Space Exploration Forever

Lon Harris
Lon Harris is a contributor to dot.LA. His work has also appeared on ScreenJunkies, RottenTomatoes and Inside Streaming.
Astrolab's New SpaceX-backed Rover Could Change Space Exploration Forever
Photo by Samson Amore

This is the web version of dot.LA’s daily newsletter. Sign up to get the latest news on Southern California’s tech, startup and venture capital scene.

Local Los Angeles-area startup Astrolab Inc. has designed a new lunar vehicle called FLEX, short for Flexible Logistics and Exploration Rover. About the size of a Jeep Wrangler, FLEX is designed to move cargo around the surface of the moon on assignment. It’s a bit larger than NASA’s Mars rovers, like Perseverance, but as it’s designed for transport and mobility rather than precision measurement, it can travel much faster, at speeds of up to 15 miles per hour across the lunar surface.

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Meet the Creator Economy’s Version of LinkedIn

Kristin Snyder

Kristin Snyder is dot.LA's 2022/23 Editorial Fellow. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

Meet the Creator Economy’s Version of LinkedIn

This is the web version of dot.LA’s daily newsletter. Sign up to get the latest news on Southern California’s tech, startup and venture capital scene.

LinkedIn hasn’t caught on with Gen Z—in fact, 96% rarely use their existing account.

Considering 25% of young people want to be full-time content creators and most influencers aren’t active on LinkedIn, traditional networking sites aren’t likely to meet these needs.

Enter CreatorLand.

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This Week in ‘Raises’: Total Network Services Gains $9M, Autio Secures $5.9M

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

This Week in ‘Raises’: Total Network Services Gains $9M, Autio Secures $5.9M
This Week in ‘Raises’:

It has been a slow week in funding, but a local decentralized computing network managed to land $9 million to accelerate deployment of its new product called Universal Communication Identifier (UCID™). Another local company that secured capital included Kevin Costner’s location-based audio storytelling platform and the funding will go toward expanding the app’s content library and expanding into additional regions in the United States.

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