FINANCE FUNDRAISING

Case Study: Financial Planning and Analysis Groundwork Paves Way For Securly’s Scale and Acquisition

Propeller Industries November 8, 2021

Propeller’s legacy engagement with Securly and deep experience with the company’s financials set their new finance leader on firm footing to manage challenges, fundraising, and eventual acquisition.

About Securly

 

For many startups, scaling from $15M to $25M and preparing for an acquisition can be a formidable challenge. Propeller first engaged with education technology startup Securly in 2017 and implemented robust Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A). Senior Finance VP Scott Cohn joined in 2019 eager to guide the company to the next phase. Propeller helped him quickly onboard, and he was extremely impressed with the financial models, KPI tracking, and reporting that was already in place. 

“Propeller had been with Securly for about two years when I joined so the deep knowledge on how the business operated created a fantastic onboarding experience for me.” Scott said. 

Guidance through a difficult transition period

In early 2020, Securly faced a short-term cash-flow crunch due to distressed market conditions caused by the global pandemic and disrupted sales due to restructuring its strategic sales team. That’s when Propeller stepped up and supported Scott and his team through a difficult transition period.

  • Upon initial engagement in early 2017, Propeller created best-of-breed accounting and finance systems and processes 
  • Created a new model to account for seasonality of sales, complex payment terms, and factoring
  • Developed sophisticated metrics and dashboards to highlight KPIs 
  • In fall 2019 expedited new SVP of Finance onboarding process
  • Addressed multi-entity accounting through migration from QuickBooks to Netsuite
  • Provided active solutions for navigating a cash flow crunch due to school closures and low Q1 sales as a result of a revamped sales team.
  • Acted as a trusted advisor and supported all fundraising efforts and eventual acquisition

The positive results

With Propeller taking the lead on the Netsuite integration and addressing the cash flow crunch, Scott was able to focus his time and energy on fundraising and eventual acquisition. 

“Knowing that I had trusted experts in our corner was instrumental in allowing me to direct my attention to raising a series B preferred that we closed in January of 2020.” Scott told us.

Propeller’s support had a positive effect across the business. 

  • Better insight into seasonality of the business and expected revenue volume by month and quarter
  • Reviewing, analyzing, and consulting on KPIs helped leadership track gross and net retention rates, LTV and CAC, operating payback periods, and more
  • By taking the lead on the Netsuite implementation project, Sr. VP of Finance was freed up and able to focus on successful Series B fundraising in Q1 2020
  • Provided key insights into working capital and burn rate to help navigate a tricky cash-flow crunch
  • With Propeller's guidance, expertise, and data, Securly completed a successful multi-million dollar sale



Success By the Numbers (1)

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A Successful exit 

Propeller’s foundational FP&A groundwork helped Securly quickly rebound from significant internal and external challenges. With momentum on their side, Propeller’s Transaction Advisory team positioned Securly to be acquired far ahead of schedule.

“Not only do they provide outstanding technical expertise and transaction-level work to supplement our finance and accounting needs, but they are a trusted strategic thought partner who played an instrumental role throughout our M&A process and exit to Golden Gate Capital.” Scott concludes.

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