The future of accounting and modeling with Runway and Puzzle

LTSE Equity Team

Runway is LTSE's cash planning tool for startups. Our visual platform helps founders easily understand, manage, and extend their cash runway — all for free. 

In today’s markets, Runway enables smarter financial decisions in the face of brutal fundraising prospects. The product’s integration with Puzzle sets a new standard for real-time financial statements, metrics, and burn analysis. 

The LTSE team sat down with Sasha Orloff, Founder & CEO of Puzzle, to dive into: 

case study
“It was an easy decision for us to collaborate with LTSE. Runway is the simplest tool for abstracting away complexity to make financial forecasts, modeling, and prediction understandable.” - Sasha Orloff, Founder & CEO of Puzzle

LTSE Runway + Puzzle = Streamlined Financial Planning

When our teams met, LTSE and Puzzle quickly aligned in two areas: 

  1. Deep investment in helping startups thrive
  2. The belief that company governance is beneficial

It helped that Sasha was already a Runway fan. In his words, “There’s nothing simpler than” He highlights the ability to play out scenarios like: 

  • What will happen to my runway if I hire more people? 
  • What will happen if my revenue is inconsistent? 

Runway & Puzzle streamline financial planning into a few clicks

The combination of Runway and Puzzle has been a game-changer for early-stage ventures; they no longer need backgrounds in FP&A or accounting. 

Of course, expertise enhances understanding of platform usage. But this is a big step up from when a background in finance was a necessity for every founding team. For a long time, that reality disempowered teams from understanding the health and futures of their businesses. 

Today, Runway and Puzzle help founders unlock those learnings and make data-informed decisions with tools that are low-lift, high-ROI. 

“We wanted every founder to have dead simple financial planning. We prototyped with a few dozen founders and knew we were onto something.” - Sasha Orloff, Founder & CEO of Puzzle

How Runway & Puzzle Simplify Essential Financial Functions

Puzzle builds accounting software differently than the industry at large. 

They combine a streaming data platform with a smart general ledger, the structuring mechanism that creates profit and loss on a balance sheet. This opens up a whole new set of capabilities and use cases that’s missing from traditional accounting programs. 

From there, teams can leverage these improved, hybrid financial statements to increase value across their companies. 

Use Case #1: Project & inspect potential spending

Most traditional financial statements have two gaping holes in them: 

  1. People — Many startups spend 60–90% of their capital on employees. Yet, most financial statements don’t address people, which prevents you from accurately forecasting your runway. 
  2. Revenue — You also cannot accurately predict revenue runway if you can’t see your products and customers within the data. 

Puzzle solves this with underlying data traceability. 

  • You don’t just see salaries and benefits summaries. You see the details down to the team and employee. 
  • You don’t just see revenue. You see revenue by product and by customer. 

Then, Puzzle feeds that data into Runway, where founders can troubleshoot endless permutations of spending, scaling, and refining in any department. 

Puzzle and Runway in tandem means unmatched visibility into cash projections. 

Use Case #2: Automate essential cap table and valuation functions

Your cap table is critical since it’s essentially the ledger of your startups’ owners. 

It’s also a drain on resources to maintain. If you’re handling it on your own, you’re likely doing grunt work in Excel with extensive manual review. 

Puzzle can offload all of those tasks — reconciling your data and matching your numbers so they are ready for valuation or 409a analysis. 

The Outsized Value of Open APIs for Early-Stage Startups

Accounting software was historically lackluster up to this point. It was a headache for startups since your capital and your financial tooling are both limiting factors on a founder’s vision. 

Luckily, open APIs offer early-stage businesses seemingly endless project potential. 

This is one reason why Puzzle brought API capabilities into their suite of offerings. Companies can now select and leverage the best software to handle their diverse needs while controlling their data. Even if you choose to switch systems, you won’t lose your data. 

“Startups can do whatever they want with their Puzzle data,” explains Sasha. “It’s their data.” 

Another result of open APIs: Puzzle’s integration with Runway for embedded accounting is fully customizable and transparent to users. 

“If we think about what an open API can unlock, companies are empowered to own and control their data for the first time ever. That just hasn’t existed.” - Sasha Orloff, Founder & CEO of Puzzle

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The information contained above is provided for informational and educational purposes only, and nothing contained herein should be construed as investment advice, either on behalf of a particular security or an overall investment strategy. Information about the company is provided by the company, or comes from the companies’ public filings and is not independently verified by LTSE. Neither LTSE nor any of its affiliates makes any recommendation to buy or sell any security or any representation about the financial condition of any company. Statements regarding LTSE-listed companies are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Investors should undertake their own due diligence and carefully evaluate companies before investing. Advice from a securities professional is strongly advised.
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