Strategy execution platform Cascade bags $40 million investment

27 March 2022 Consultancy.com.au 3 min. read
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Bidding to tap into the multi-billion global strategy consulting market, Australian strategy execution software provider Cascade has closed its Series A round.

Cascade, a Sydney-based tech platform which seeks to make the strategy consulting cycle semi-redundant, has raised $40 million in Series A funding. The cash injection, led by ex-Sequoia investor Mickey Arabelovic’s Telescope Partners and including local venture capital firms Five V and Carthona, will support a further expansion into North America and Europe and the evolution of its strategy execution software toolkit.

Following a stint overseeing a large team at HSBC rather than as a consultant at BCG, Cascade was founded by CEO Tom Wright in 2014.

Strategy execution platform Cascade bags $40 million investment

Cascade combines strategy, project management, KPIs and outcome tracking tools in the one, integrable platform to better align larger workforces on strategic goals and avoid common failures in execution (along with endless PowerPoint presentations), which it claims occurs at a rate of 90 percent.

Through its headcount of 140-plus in 20 countries, including major branches in Sydney, Portland and Seoul, the company has in recent years built up an impressive roster of clients – such as Mercedes Benz, AstraZeneca, American Express and Toshiba – with more than than 6,000 global teams across industries said to be using the software today.

Cascade aims to boost that number to millions of platform users over the next few years. “The commitment from both investors and customers reflects the need to significantly rethink the approach to strategy execution,” said Wright. “Cascade frees strategy from static presentations and spreadsheets into a dynamic workspace that drives alignment daily. The age-old debate about whether strategy should be top-down or bottom-up is over. It’s neither.”

“Strategy needs to be dynamic, inclusive and adaptive to the current business environment.”

Wright contends the disconnect between those devising the strategy and the people executing it means businesses may well devise the perfect plan in PowerPoint or Excel but still often fail, when a few months later things change and the plan gets left by the wayside. Here; “Teams are left directionless, putting effort into the wrong things,” Wright states. “They’re not achieving results even though most feel like they’re working harder than ever.”

The end result is that companies return to the drawing board, spending additional money on strategy consultants to come up with a brand new plan from scratch. Cascade doesn’t have designs on making consultants redundant altogether. Speaking with Business News Australia, Cascade’s COO and general manager Karim Zuhri said that he sees the company’s relationship with consulting firms becoming more symbiotic over time.

“I think consulting firms are really great at giving that smart advice to leadership about what they should be doing, but a lot of them know that they’re not equipped with the software or the tools that they would need to implement or execute a strategy.” Zuhri stated. “That’s key, and this is where a strategy execution platform like Cascade comes into play. The best consulting companies ought not be afraid of or try to compete with Cascade.”