How Scoot Science Utilized airCFO's Services to Propel Them Through Multiple Funding Rounds
We recently interviewed Jonathan Lariviere, CEO of Scoot Science. Scoot is a team of oceanographers, data scientists, and agro-economists that help marine operators manage ocean risk and ocean uncertainty. Jonathan is an oceanographer and founded Scoot Science with some friends from UC - Santa Cruz. They focus on understanding extreme ocean events or “underwater weather” and events that affect the day-to-day operations of groups that carry out their business on the ocean.
Scoot’s primary customers are fish-farming groups, who often suffer multi-million dollar losses due to extreme underwater weather. Jonathan’s team helps them understand the impact of those extreme weather events with analytics and forecasting data. Jonathan has a best-in-class team with a plethora of technical expertise in analytics and ocean sciences.
Here’s what Jonathan has to say about airCFO and how airCFO has helped in their day-to-day accounting and finance functions.
Jonathan Larivier, CEO and Co-Founder of Scoot Science Interviewed by Michael Pearson, Financial Advisory Manager at airCFO
Q: How did airCFO fit into the puzzle, and why airCFO?
We started working on Scoot nights and weekends back in 2013, and at that time, the folks working on Scoot, myself included, would spend that time doing customer discovery and working on our value proposition in the ocean space. We got to a point where we had conviction and a little bit of pre-seed funding behind us. We have, however, no experience in managing the finances of the business. We were learning about product development and solving pain points for customers, but when it came to the day-to-day of managing the company finances, no one on the team had experience. We got a recommendation from a friend that is already a client of airCFO... we connected with you at the very beginning of Scoot’s life.
Q: What has that relationship evolved into?
We’ve been working with airCFO since 2018, and at the very beginning, the team at airCFO helped me understand how to manage our expenses, have our payroll up and running, and manage our tax registrations or file/navigate taxes. They also taught us how to navigate some of the outside investments we brought in, do our first invoicing, and first management of revenue with customers. Since then, we’ve worked on the CFO side to do scenario modeling and prepare for fundraising. Now we’ve gone through a couple of rounds of fundraising with you. We have done a lot of work with you on the investment side but have also grown our customer base and revenue. So alongside you, things really evolved.
That’s just on the CFO category. We have also used your accounting and bookkeeping the whole time. Cynthia, our amazing bookkeeper with airCFO, has really taught us the ins and outs of what bookkeeping and accounting look like for a business. We also use your taxation solutions. I feel like we’ve gotten a lot of learnings from the airCFO team and have really used airCFO a lot.
Q: What does the average month of working with us look like?
We have a monthly meeting where we look at the accounts for the previous month. We go through with Cynthia on any notable changes about our expenses and revenues. We look at our burn rate, our runway, and any compliance issues that need attending. Since we have employees spread across the country and some in Canada, there are a number of state-by-state tax registrations we have to pay attention to. Then, we also spend time with you, Michael, on the financial modeling and forecasting for the upcoming months. I think the cadence for our meetings often is more than monthly, especially when there are a lot of activities going on.
Q: What do you think is the most valuable thing that airCFO provides to Scoot?
I mentioned a little bit about education. We’ve just really benefited from the airCFO team teaching new founders, especially those coming from the academic world. We’ve just had a lot of teaching moments with airCFO. We’ve also gotten a lot of calibration from the team around expectations that we should have of other vendors that we interact with while we run the business. We’ve had a lot of discussions about prices from other vendors and the pricing that we use for our products. It’s really a mix of education and calibration.
Q: Would you recommend an early-stage startup to work with us?
We do... we currently recommend airCFO. We’ve been a part of conversations recently where some folks from other portfolio companies who are struggling in finding a fractional CFO and are having a tough time finding a fit, I have recommended you to them. So, if you are an early-stage company looking for a fractional CFO and someone to help you understand bookkeeping and the ins and outs of running a new business, I recommend airCFO. They have been a great team to work with and they have been with us through a lot of growth.
It’s been a pleasure working alongside Scoot Science and watching their impressive growth. It's obvious that the opportunity in front of them is truly is as big as the ocean.
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