#254 - Rafi Wadan, CEO Stargazr - on standing out in the very crowded FP&A category

A story about using augmentation to solve 6+ figure bottlenecks in a fraction of the time

This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to help manufacturers remove bottlenecks with smart suggestions. My guest is Rafi Wadan, Co-Founder and CEO Stargazr.

Rafi WadanRafi started his career as a Financial Controller at Beiersdorf and Lufthansa Technik in Germany and US. He then finished his PhD Degree on the topic “Impact of Digitization and AI on Controlling and FP&A”

In this period, he built a proven track record in turnaround situations. Rafi has a deep understanding of KPIs and how to cascade them throughout an organization. He’s a strategic thinker who is able to see the big picture and develop creative solutions to complex problems.

During his career, he experienced how hard it is to find accurate answers to financial controlling questions such as why the company is losing money, or what could be the year-end profit. Using Excel and heavy ERP tools was sometimes a nightmare. To provide timely and accurate information to stakeholders, he and his co-founder built themselves software that equipped management with the correct answers in real-time and the company made a turnaround. Stargazr was born.

Stargazr is on a mission to help manufacturing companies’ profitability by removing gut feelings and providing forward-looking insights and intelligent recommendations. 

And this inspired me, and hence I invited Rafi to my podcast. We explore what’s broken in the way manufacturing companies make decisions. Rafi shares his lessons learned on creating remarkable traction in the highly competitive category of FP&A. He tells stories about how niching down helped scale faster and help deliver remarkable results in a matter of 30 days. Last but not least, he elaborates on how they can constantly raise the bar and get ahead of the market. 

Here’s one of his quotes

We like to call our tool a data-driven employee. That was always the way I was seeing Stargazer and trying to build it. However, I knew that the prescriptive part was a super complex approach.

For us was clear we, first of all, need a framework for that. But we also use a customer advisory board to ensure that this whole model with the prescriptive analytics works. Our customers did a 30-day POC, and the result was awesome. We could see our tool was identifying and recommending solutions how to solve bottlenecks, which were in the six digits in terms of profit. 

During this interview, you will learn four things:

  1. How verticalization will help to create traction and rapidly grow it
  2. What questions to ask in order to understand whether you are on to something with your startup idea
  3. How slicing implementation time can give you a major long-term sales advantage
  4. What to get right to drive a successful fundraising round

For more information about the guest from this week:


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About the author

Sales Pitch

Ton Dobbe is a former B2B software product marketer who's on a mission to save mission-driven SaaS CEOs from the stress of 'not enough' traction. He's the author of The Remarkable Effect, the host of the Tech-Entrepreneur on a Mission podcast, and writes a daily newsletter on the secrets to mastering predictable traction.