How Causal markets, sells, and supports their product integrations‍

Welcome to our first edition of “startup spotlight”, a content series that gives you the inside scoop on how startups build, market, sell, and support their customer-facing integrations. 

To kick us off, we’re highlighting Causal, a financial planning tool that helps companies perform forecasting, headcount planning, budgeting, among other critical business tasks. 

You can read on to hear directly from Causal’s Co-Founder, Lukas Köbis. He’ll share why they needed integrations for their product, how they’ve gone about building them, how they market and price them, and more! 

Learn how Merge can support your startup’s integrations here.

1. Why does Causal need integrations?

We need to collect a wide range of historical data from clients to power all of the reports they might want to build and leverage in our product. 

Instead of asking clients to manually import their data to our product over time, which is extremely time consuming and tedious for clients, we wanted to automatically sync their data with our product; offering integrations with clients’ HRIS, CRM, and accounting applications allow us to do just that.

2. Can you walk me through Causal’s journey in building integrations?

So, it took us a bit of time to realize that our product was best suited for providing financial reports. Once this became clear, we immediately began the work of building integrations with accounting systems, like NetSuite and Xero, in-house.

As we looked to expand into building HRIS integrations, we knew that the in-house approach to implementing and maintaining them wasn’t sustainable. There are so many HRIS solutions out there, and our clients and prospects were using dozens of providers. 

We initially used Finch (another unified API solution) to build out HRIS integrations, but the quality of their integrations were pretty poor. For instance, unlike Merge, their integrations can only access a limited scope of data from 3rd-party systems.

We eventually replaced Finch with Merge for HRIS integrations and have been so happy with the results that we’ve added CRM integrations in your product and are in the process of transitioning our accounting integrations to Merge. 

3. How does Causal market its integrations?

We’ve taken a few approaches.

We’ve built out an integration marketplace and created individual landing pages for each integration (e.g. HubSpot) so that prospects and clients can both learn about all of the integrations we offer and how each functions. 

We’ve also managed to get included in the 3rd-party vendors’ app stores, which helps drive awareness of our platform and integrations. 

Causal’s listing on QuickBook’s app store enables Quickbook’s users to easily discover Causal. 

Finally, we occasionally collaborate with integration partners on social posts that promote our integration, which is great in that many of our partners have a massive following on social channels like Linkedin and Twitter.

Xero API, which is associated with Xero, has thousands of followers on X (formerly Twitter), allowing tweets like the one above to reach a large audience.

4. How does Causal sell its integrations?

Through our Launch plan, our clients pay $250/month and can access 1 of our integrations. 

If they need to access more integrations, they’d need to pay an additional fee per month—which can vary depending on the software category they integrate with. The reason behind the price differences across categories comes down to the companies that need them. Companies that use enterprise-grade accounting systems, like Netsuite, for instance, are often larger and have bigger budgets than, say, those that solely need HRIS integrations. 

We also offer a subscription for larger companies, which we call our “Growth” plan. The plan gives clients access to a couple of integrations but charges clients the same fees for additional integrations as our Launch plan.

Since we run a product-led growth motion, we try to make all of the details around our pricing, including how our integrations are priced, incredibly clear on our pricing page

5. How does Causal support its integrations?

Our support team handles the vast majority of integration issues. And in the rare case that an issue requires support from Merge, we have a shared Slack channel with our points of contact at Merge—which makes it easy for our team to get the support they need to resolve issues quickly.

Our engineers rarely need to get involved, and considering that we have limited engineering resources, this is greatly appreciated.

You can learn more about how Causal uses Merge to power their HRIS, CRM, and accounting integrations by reading their case study.