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Why We Invested in (well, co-built) Stargazr: Bringing Cosmic Clarity to Manufacturing Finance

Why We Invested in (well, co-built) Stargazr: Bringing Cosmic Clarity to Manufacturing Finance
Why We Invested in (well, co-built) Stargazr: Bringing Cosmic Clarity to Manufacturing Finance

Manufacturing struggles with a disconnect between factories and finance. Stargazr's no-code software bridges this critical gap by offering xP&A, providing manufacturers with the financial insights they need. With OSS Ventures' guidance,Stargazr targeted the right market and skyrocketed their deal flow – generating a year's worth in just a quarter

Every founder we meet has that entrepreneurial twinkle in their eye - that spark that convinces us they're the real deal. But in the industrial world, it takes more than just technical chops to navigate the cosmic vastness of manufacturing sales cycles. When we first encountered Rafi, the celestial mind behind Stargazr, his Lufthansa financial controller background gave us an instant founder-market fit tingle.

This was further solidified when we learned that the Stargazr team had already secured major clients like Western Jet, Beiersdorf, and Lufthansa itself – an impressive feat for such an early-stage company in the manufacturing sector.

What caught our attention was the blatant gap Stargazr aimed to address. In the manufacturing world, data flows in abundance from various departments like sales, operations, and engineering. However, this data is often poorly structured and disconnected from the strategic financial data required by the executive team and finance professionals.

This disconnect between the operational realities of the shop floor and the expectations of the white-collar workforce, especially in finance, is a pervasive issue that Stargazr tackles head-on. By bringing extended Financial Planning and Analysis (xP&A) to manufacturers, Stargazr bridges this divide.

xP&A, also known as integrated or collaborative planning, is a well-established concept in finance that emphasizes real-time, cross-functional scenario analysis and planning across multiple dimensions and organizational levels. Adopting xP&A can lead to significant performance enhancements compared to traditional FP&A methods by integrating strategic planning, FP&A, operational planning, and forecasting, as well as fostering collaboration between top-down and bottom-up approaches.

Rafi's experience as a financial controller at Lufthansa exposed him to these challenges firsthand. He noticed the gaps in operations and the need for a solution that could aid finance professionals in their daily tasks. After discussing with peers across various industries, he realized that this problem was not unique to his situation but was prevalent across sectors, with the aerospace industry being particularly overlooked by FP&A software providers.

From day one, Rafi and Juan Carlos, the CTO with a strong background in computer science and data analytics, implemented AI to keep Stargazr at the cutting edge. Today, Stargazr is a no-code simulation software that improves profitability by empowering decision-makers in manufacturing with forward-looking insights and intelligent recommendations, essentially de-expertising FP&A and financial decision-making.

The decision to go with a no-code platform was a strategic one, as Rafi wanted to create a simple tool that CFOs could easily adopt and use without extensive training.

OSS Help last winter:

While the journey has not been without its challenges, we have been there to support the Stargazr team every step of the way. When we identified that commercial traction was not meeting expectations, we organized a two-day workshop in Paris to help them get back on track.

We started by setting clear objectives and timelines based on the company's cash burn rate, allowing us to define a window for course correction. We then conducted a deep dive into the product's value proposition and identified any potential gaps in functionality. Based on this analysis, we revamped the sales pitch and redefined the ICP to focus on the strategic benefits of the product, enabling conversations with decision-makers specifically in the MRO aviation sector and ended up with 75% of the pipe generation in that sector.

“OSS Ventures isn't just an investor for us; they're like the seasoned mentor we didn't know we needed. They've been in the trenches with us, whether it's brainstorming sales strategies, solving tricky tech issues, or fighting out HR questions. What sets them apart is their deep know-how in the manufacturing world, coupled with a great network that's always ready to open doors for us. They're not just pushing us towards our goals; they're walking us step by step, ensuring we are moving towards PMF. For Stargazr, they're more than an investor - they're a crucial part of our team.”

 - Rafi Wadan, CEO of Stargazr

Finally, we reviewed the sales organization and processes, concentrating the company's efforts on a narrower, more specialized market segment. The results were impressive: within a single quarter, the deal flow generated was equivalent to that of the previous 12 months. This would not have been possible without Rafi's leadership, which enabled him to align his organization swiftly and instill a sense of urgency throughout the team.

Today, Stargazr continues to make strides in bridging the gap between operations and finance in the manufacturing sector. With a strong founding team, a powerful vision, and our unwavering support, we are confident in Stargazr's ability to drive real change and enhance visibility for decision-makers in this critical industry.

Build the future of manufacturing with us

Build the future of manufacturing with us
Build the future of manufacturing with us