By Christine Hall
August 25, 2021
By Ryan Lawler
August 24, 2021
By Christine Hall
August 24, 2021
By Sean Michael Kerner
August 24, 2021
By Kate Park
August 24, 2021
By Christine Hall
August 23, 2021
By Christine Hall
August 20, 2021
By Christine Hall
August 20, 2021
By Christine Hall
August 20, 2021
By Christine Hall
August 19, 2021
At a time when remote work, cybersecurity attacks and increased privacy and compliance requirements threaten a company’s data, more companies are collecting and storing their observability data, but are being locked in with vendors or have difficulty accessing the data.
Enter Cribl. The San Francisco-based company is developing an “open ecosystem of data” for enterprises that utilizes unified data pipelines, called “observability pipelines,” to parse and route any type of data that flows through a corporate IT system. Users can then choose their own analytics tools and storage destinations like Splunk, Datadog and Exabeam, but without becoming dependent on a vendor.
The company announced Wednesday a $200 million round of Series C funding to value Cribl at $1.5 billion, according to a source close to the company. Greylock and Redpoint Ventures co-led the round and were joined by new investor IVP, existing investors Sequoia and CRV and strategic investment from Citi Ventures and CrowdStrike. The new capital infusion gives Cribl a total of $254 million in funding since the company was started in 2017, Cribl co-founder and CEO Clint Sharp told TechCrunch.
Sharp did not discuss the valuation; however, he believes that the round is “validation that the observability pipeline category is legit.” Data is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 25%, and organizations are collecting five times more data today than they did 10 years ago, he explained.
“Ultimately, they want to ask and answer questions, especially for IT and security people,” Sharp added. “When Zoom sends data on who started a phone call, that might be data I need to know so I know who is on the call from a security perspective and who they are communicating with. Also, who is sending files to whom and what machines are communicating together in case there is a malicious actor. We can also find out who is having a bad experience with the system and what resources they can access to try and troubleshoot the problem.”
Cribl also enables users to choose how they want to store their data, which is different from competitors that often lock companies into using only their products. Instead, customers can buy the best products from different categories and they will all talk to each other through Cribl, Sharp said.
Though Cribl is developing a pipeline for data, Sharp sees it more as an “observability lake,” as more companies have differing data storage needs. He explains that the lake is where all of the data will go that doesn’t need to go into an existing storage solution. The pipelines will send the data to specific tools and then collect the data, and what doesn’t fit will go back into the lake so companies have it to go back to later. Companies can keep the data for longer and more cost effectively.
Cribl said it is seven times more efficient at processing event data and boasts a customer list that includes Whole Foods, Vodafone, FINRA, Fannie Mae and Cox Automotive.
Sharp went after additional funding after seeing huge traction in its existing customer base, saying that “when you see that kind of traction, you want to keep doubling down.” His aim is to have a presence in every North American city and in Europe, to continue launching new products and growing the engineering team.
Up next, the company is focusing on go-to-market and engineering growth. Its headcount is 150 currently, and Sharp expects to grow that to 250 by the end of the year.
Over the last fiscal year, Cribl grew its revenue 293%, and Sharp expects that same trajectory for this year. The company is now at a growth stage, and with the new investment, he believes Cribl is the “future leader in observability.”
“This is a great investment for us, and every dollar, we believe, is going to create an outsized return as we are the only commercial company in this space,” he added.
Scott Raney, managing director at Redpoint Ventures, said his firm is a big enterprise investor in software, particularly in companies that help organizations leverage data to protect themselves, a sweet spot that Cribl falls into.
He feels Sharp is leading a team, having come from Splunk, that has accomplished a lot, has a vision and a handle on the business and knows the market well. Where Splunk is capturing the machine data and using its systems to extract the data, Cribl is doing something similar in directing the data where it needs to go, while also enabling companies to utilize multiple vendors and build apps to sit on top of its infrastructure.
“Cribl is adding opportunity by enriching the data flowing through, and the benefits are going to be meaningful in cost reduction,” Raney said. “The attitude out there is to put data in cheaper places, and afford more flexibility to extract data. Step one is to make that transition, and step two is how to drive the data sitting there. Cribl is doing something that will go from being a big business to a legacy company 30 years from now.”
By Christine Hall
Earlier today, spend management startup Ramp said it has raised a $300 million Series C that valued it $3.9 billion. It also said it was acquiring Buyer, a “negotiation-as-a-service” platform that it believes will help customers save money on purchases and SaaS products.
The round and deal were announced just a week after competitor Brex shared news of its own acquisition — the $50 million purchase of Israeli fintech startup Weav. That deal was made after Brex’s founders invested in Weav, which offers a “universal API for commerce platforms”.
From a high level, all of the recent deal-making in corporate cards and spend management shows that it’s not enough to just help companies track what employees are expensing these days. As the market matures and feature sets begin to converge, the players are seeking to differentiate themselves from the competition.
But the point of interest here is these deals can tell us where both companies think they can provide and extract the most value from the market.
These differences come atop another layer of divergence between the two companies: While Brex has instituted a paid software tier of its service, Ramp has not.
Earning more by spending less
Let’s start with Ramp. Launched in 2019, the company is a relative newcomer in the spend management category. But by all accounts, it’s producing some impressive growth numbers. As our colleague Mary Ann Azevedo wrote this morning:
Since the beginning of 2021, the company says it has seen its number of cardholders on its platform increase by 5x, with more than 2,000 businesses currently using Ramp as their “primary spend management solution.” The transaction volume on its corporate cards has tripled since April, when its last raise was announced. And, impressively, Ramp has seen its transaction volume increase year over year by 1,000%, according to CEO and co-founder Eric Glyman.
Ramp’s focus has always been on helping its customers save money: It touts a 1.5% cashback reward for all purchases made through its cards, and says its dashboard helps businesses identify duplicitous subscriptions and license redundancies. Ramp also alerts customers when they can save money on annual vs. monthly subscriptions, which it says has led many customers to do away with established T&E platforms like Concur or Expensify.
All told, the company claims that the average customer saves 3.3% per year on expenses after switching to its platform — and all that is before it brings Buyer into the fold.
By Ryan Lawler
Ken Babcock and his co-founders, Dan Giovacchini and Brian Shultz, were in the midst of Harvard Business School in March 2020 when they felt the call to start Tango, a Chrome extension that auto-captures workflow best practices so that teams can learn from their top performers.
“This window of opportunity was driven by the pandemic as we saw a lot of companies become distributed and go remote,” CEO Babcock told TechCrunch. “Team leaders were remotely onboarding people, for perhaps the first time, and accelerating ramp times. There was no longer the opportunity to tap on people’s shoulders in the office, so much of the training was left to people’s own devices.”
They dropped out of their program to start Los Angeles-based Tango, and today, announced a $5.7 million seed round for its workflow intelligence platform. Wing Venture Capital led the round and was joined by General Catalyst, Global Silicon Valley, Outsiders Fund and Red Sea Ventures. A group of angel investors also joined, including former Yelp executive Michael Stoppelman, former Uber head of data Jai Ranganathan, KeepTruckin CEO Shoaib Makani and Awesome People Ventures’ Julia Lipton.
Tango is designed to help employees, particularly in customer success and sales enablement, get back as much as 20% of their workweek spent searching for that one piece of information or tracking down the right colleague to assist with a task. Its technology creates tutorials by recording a users’ workflow — actions, links to pages, URLs and screenshots — and turns that into step-by-step documentation with a video.
Previously the co-founders bootstrapped the company, and decided to go after seed funding to expand the product and growth teams and invest in product development so that Tango could take a product-led growth strategy, Babcock said. The team now has 13 employees.
Since starting last year, Tango has secured 10 pilots to figure out the data and capabilities before it is set to launch publicly in September. Babcock said the company will always have a free version of the product, as well as premium and enterprise versions that will unlock additional capabilities.
“The big thing is around integrations and meeting people where the consumer content is,” Babcock added. “We are reducing that burden of creating documentation, and for companies that already have Wikis or other materials, learning how to inject ourselves into those systems.”
Zach DeWitt, partner at Wing Venture Capital, said he met the company three years ago through a mutual friend.
His firm invests in early-stage, business-to-business startups unlocking a novel data set. In Tango’s case, the company was creating a new data set for the enterprise and business, where users can analyze workflow.
With the average tech company using 150 SaaS apps, up from 20 a decade ago, there are permutations about which app to use, how to use them, what happens if the user gets stuck and what if none of the data is being captured, Dewitt said. Tango works in the background and captures workflow, which is the foundation to the business’ success.
“I was blown away by the approach,” he added. “You have to meet people where they get stuck and even anticipate where they get stuck so you can serve the Tango tutorial to get unstuck. It can also change the company’s culture when it rewards people to share knowledge. The whole idea is beneficial to multiple parties: to those who are getting stuck and to new hires. That is powerful.”
By Christine Hall
New York City based startup NS1 got its start providing organizations with managed DNS services to help accelerate application delivery and reliability. With its new NetBox Cloud service that is being announced in preview today, NS1 is expanding its services into a new area beyond DNS.
It can often be a challenging task for a network administrator in an enterprise to understand where all the networking infrastructure is and how it’s all supposed to be connected. That’s a job for an emerging class of enterprise technology known as Infrastructure Resource Management (IRM) that NS1 is now jumping into. TechCrunch profiled NS1 in a wide-ranging EC-1 series last month. The company provides DNS as a service, for some of the biggest sites on the internet. DNS, or domain name system is about connecting IP addresses to domain names and NS1 has technology that helps organizations to intelligently optimize application traffic delivery.
With its new NetBox Cloud service, NS1 is providing a managed service for NetBox which is a popular open source IRM tool that was initially built by developer Jeremy Stretch, while he was working at cloud provider DigitalOcean. Stretch joined NS1 as a distinguished engineer in April of this year, with NS1 now supporting the open source project.
Stretch recounted that at one point during his tenure at DigitalOcean he was using Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to track IP address management. Using a spreadsheet to track IP addresses doesn’t scale, so Stretch coded the initial version of NetBox in 2015 to address that need. Over the last several years, NetBox has expanded with additional capabilities that will now also help users of NS1’s NetBox Cloud service.
Stretch explained that Netbox’s role is primarily in modelling network infrastructure in an approach that provides what he referred to as a “source of truth” for network infrastructure. The basic idea is to enable organizations to model their desired state of their networks and then from that point they can draw in monitoring to verify that the operational state is the same as the desired state.
“So the idea of this source of truth is that it is the actual documented authoritative record of what is supposed to be configured on the network,” Stretch said.
NetBox has continued to grow over the years as a popular open source tool, but it hasn’t been particularly accessible to enterprises that required commercial support to get started, or that wanted a managed service. The goal with the new service is to make it easier for organizations of any size to get started with NetBox to better manage their networks.
NS1 co-founder and CEO Kris Beevers told TechCrunch that while Stretch has done a solid job of building the NetBox open source community, there hasn’t been a commercial service for NetBox. Beevers said that while NetBox has had broad adoption as an open source effort, in his view there are a lot of enterprises that will want commercial support and a managed service.
One key theme that Beevers reiterated time and again in the Extra Crunch EC-1 series is that NS1 is very experimental as a business, and that same theme holds true for NetBox. The primary objective for the initial beta release of the NetBox Cloud is all about figuring out exactly who is trying to adopt the technology and learning what challenges commercial users will face. Fundamentally, Beevers said that NS1 will be actively iterating on NetBox Cloud to make sure it addresses the things that enterprises care about.
“From the NS1 point of view, this is just such a compelling open source product and community and we want to drive barriers to adoption as low as we possibly can,” Beevers said.
NS1 was founded in 2013 and has raised $118.4 million in funding, including a $40 million Series D which the company closed in July 2020.
By Sean Michael Kerner
Samsung Group, South Korea’s tech giant, announced on Tuesday that it will invest $205 billion (240 trillion won) in their semiconductor, biopharmaceuticals and telecommunications units over the next three years to enhance its global presence and lead in new industries such as next-generation telecommunication and robotics.
The investment will be led by Samsung affiliates including Samsung Electronics and Samsung Biologics. It also unveiled mergers and acquisitions plan to fortify its technology and market leadership.
With setting aside $154.3 billion (180 trillion won) for home ground, Samsung expects to create 40,000 new jobs by 2023 through the investment.
This announcement comes days after Samsung Electronics vice chairman Jay Y. Lee was released on parole on 13 August right before South Korea’s Liberation Day. People speculated Samsung would be able to move forward with major investment once he was freed from prison, according to local media reports.
Samsung’s latest investment will be used for semiconductor, biopharmaceuticals and the next-generation telco units, according to the company’s statement.
Samsung Electronics plans to develop advanced process technology and expand the business with artificial intelligence (AI) and data centers for its system semiconductors while it will focus on up-to-date technology such as EUV-based sub14-nanometer DRAM and over 200-layer V-NAND products for the memory business. Samsung had announced in May the company will invest $151 billion in its logic chip and foundry sector, to be the top logic chip maker, by 2030.
Samsung Biologics and Samsung Bioepis plans to establish additional two new plants, in addition to a fourth factory that is under construction, for expanding the contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) business, the statement said.
South Korea’s largest conglomerate also will support its ongoing R&D in new technologies and emerging application in areas such as AI and robotics along with the next generation OLED, quantum-dot display and high-energy density batteries development.
By Kate Park
As more companies provide more API-first services, Moesif has developed a way for those companies to learn how their customers are utilizing them.
The San Francisco-based startup is adding to its capital raise Monday with the announcement of a $12 million Series A round led by David Sacks and Arra Malekzadeh of Craft Ventures. Existing investor Merus Capital, which led Moesif’s $3.5 million seed round in 2019, also participated in the round, bringing the company’s total raise to $15.5 million, Moesif co-founder and CEO Derric Gilling told TechCrunch.
Gilling and Xing Wang founded Moesif in 2017 and went through the Alchemist Accelerator in 2018.
Companies seeking data around API usage and workflow traditionally had to build that capability in-house on top of a tech like Snowflake, Gilling said. One of the problems with that was if someone wanted a report, the process was ad hoc, meaning they would file a ticket and wait until a team had time to run the report. In addition, companies find it difficult to accurately bill customers on usage or manage when someone exceeds the rate limits.
“We started to see people build on top of our platform and pull data on APIs, and they started asking us how to directly serve customers, like making them aware if they are hitting a rate limit,” Gilling added. “We started to build new functionality and a way to customize the look and feel of the platform.”
Moesif provides self-service analytics that can be accessed daily and features to scale analytics in a more cost-effective manner. Customers use it to monitor features to better understand when there are issues with the API, and there are additional capabilities to understand who is using the API, how often and who may be likely to stop using a product based on how they are using it.
The company is also now seeing its revenue grow over 20% month over month this year and adoption by more diverse use cases and larger companies. At the time of the seed round, the company was just getting started with analytics and user trials, Gilling said. Today, it boasts a customer list that includes UPS, Tomorrow.io, Symbl.ai and Deloitte.
The company has also gone from a team of two to nine employees, and Gilling expects to use the new funding to bolster that roster across engineering, sales, developer relations and customer success.
He is also focusing on being a thought leader in the space and is pushing go-to-market and building out a new set of features to monetize APIs and improve its dashboard to better differentiate Moesif from competitors, which he said focus more on server health versus customer usage.
As part of the investment, Craft Ventures’ Malekzadeh is joining Moesif’s board. She was introduced to Gilling by another portfolio company and felt Moesif fit into Crafts’ thesis on SaaS companies.
Malekzadeh’s particular interest is in developer tools, and while in her previous position working at a startup developing APIs, she felt firsthand the pain point of not being able to know how those APIs were being used, how much customers should be billed and “was always bugging the product and engineering teams for reports.”
Moesif didn’t exist at the time she worked at the startup, and instead, her company had to build it own tools that turned out to be clunky, while at the same time recruiting top engineers that didn’t want to take up their time with building something that wasn’t the company’s core product.
“The two founders are highly technical, but they provided great content on their website that helped me learn about them,” Malekzadeh added. “One of the interesting things about them is that even though they are technical, they speak the same language as a business user, which makes them special as a developer-first company. Just the growth in their revenue was super impressive, and their customer references were glowing.”
By Christine Hall
Breef raised $3.5 million in funding to continue developing what it boasts as “the world’s first online marketplace” for transactions between brands and agencies.
Greycroft led the round and was joined by Rackhouse Ventures, The House Fund, John and Helen McBain, Lance Armstrong and 640 Oxford Ventures. Including the new round, the New York and Colorado-based company has brought in total funding of $4.5 million since its inception in 2019 by husband-and-wife co-founders George Raptis and Emily Bibb.
Bibb’s background is in digital marketing and brand building at companies like PopSugar, VSCO and S’well, while Raptis was on the founding team at fintech company Credible.com.
Both said they experienced challenges in finding agencies, which traditionally involved asking for referrals and then making a bunch of calls. There were also times when their companies would be in high demand for talent, but didn’t necessarily need a full-time employee to achieve the goal or project milestone.
While the concept of outsourcing is not new, Breef’s differentiator is its ability to manage complex projects: a traditional individual freelance project is less than $1,000 and takes a week or less. Instead, the company is working with team-based projects that average $25,000 with a length of engagement of about six months, Raptis said.
Breef’s platform is democratizing how brands and boutique agencies connect with each other in the process of planning, scoping, pitching and paying for projects, Raptis told TechCrunch.
“At the core, we are taking the agency online,” Bibb added. “We are building a platform to streamline a complicated process for outsourcing high-value work and allow users to find, pay for and work with agencies in days rather than months.”
Brands can draft their own brief to articulate what they need, and Breef will connect them to a short list of agencies that match those requirements. Rather than a one- or two-month search, the company is able to bring that down to five days.
Bibb and Raptis decided to seek venture capital after experiencing demand — millions of dollars in projects are being created on the platform each month — and some tailwinds from the shift to remote work. They saw many brands that may have originally utilized in-house teams or agencies of record turn to distributed or smaller teams.
Due to the nature of agency work being expensive, Breef is processing large amounts of money over the internet, and the founders want to continue developing the technology and hiring talent so that it is a secure and trustworthy system.
It also launched its buy now, pay later project funding service, Breef(pay), to streamline payments to agencies and reduce cash flow challenges. Users can construct their own payment terms, mix up the way they are paid and utilize a credit line or defer payments to control external spend.
To date, Breef has more than 5,000 vetted boutique agencies in 20 countries on its platform and is able to save its users an average of 32% in product costs compared with a traditional agency model. It boasts a customer list that includes Spotify, Brex, Shutterstock, Bluestone Lane and Kinrgy.
Kevin Novak, founder of Rackhouse Ventures, said he met Raptis through the Australian tech community. He recently launched his first fund targeting startups in novel applications of data.
“When they were talking to me about what they wanted to do, I got intrigued,” Novak said. “I like finding marketplaces where the idea is well understood by the people involved. Looking at the matching problem, Emily and George have found a unique way to find ad agencies that hasn’t existed before.”
By Christine Hall
Rutter, a remote-first company, is developing a unified e-commerce API that enables companies to connect with data across any platform.
On Friday the company announced it was emerging from stealth with $1.5 million in funding from a group of investors including Haystack, Liquid 2 and Basis Set Ventures.
Founders Eric Yu and Peter Zhou met in school and started working on Rutter, which Zhou called “Plaid for commerce,” in 2017 before going through the summer 2019 Y Combinator cohort.
They stumbled upon the e-commerce API idea while working in education technology last year. The pair were creating subscription kits and learning materials for parents concerned about how their children would be learning during the global pandemic. Then their vendor customers had problems listing their storefronts on Amazon, so they wrote scripts to help them, but found that they had to write separate scripts for each platform.
With Rutter, customers only need one script to connect anywhere. Its APIs connect to e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Walmart and Amazon so that tech customers can build functions like customer support and chatbots, Yu told TechCrunch.
Lan Xuezhao, founding and managing partner of Basis Set Ventures, said via email that she was “super excited” about Rutter first because of the founders’ passion, grit and speed of iteration to a product. She added it reminded her of another team that successfully built a business from zero to over $7 billion.
“After watching them (Rutter) for a few years, it’s clear what they built is powerful: it’s the central nervous system of online commerce,” Xuezhao added.
As the founders see it, there are two big explosions going on in e-commerce: the platform side with the adoption of headless commerce — the separating of front end and back end functions of an e-commerce site, and new companies coming in to support merchants.
The new funding will enable Yu and Zhou to build up their team, including hiring more engineers.
Due to the company officially launching at the beginning of the year, Yu did not disclose revenue metrics, but did say that Rutter’s API volume was doubling and tripling in the last few months. It is also supporting merchants that connect with over 5,000 stores.
Some of Rutter’s competitors are building one aspect of commerce, like returns, warranties and checkouts, but Yu said that since Shopify represents just 10% of e-commerce, the company’s goal is to take merchants beyond the marketplace by being “that unified app store for merchants to find products.”
“We think that in the future, the e-commerce stack of a merchant will look like the SaaS stack of a software company,” Zhou added. “We want to be the glue that holds that stack together for merchants.”
By Christine Hall
Three University of Michigan students are building Channels Inc., a communication software tailored for physical workers, and already racking up some big customers in the event management industry.
Siddharth Kaul, 18, Elan Rosen, 20, and Ibrahim Mohammed, 20, started the company after finding some common ground in retail and events. The company’s customer list boasts names like Marriott Hotels, and it announced a $520,000 seed round, led by Sahra Growth Capital, to give it nearly $570,000 in total funding.
Kaul grew up going to a lot of events in Kuwait and Dubai, but started noticing there was a delay in things that should happen and many processes were being done on pen and paper.
“The technology that was available was inharmonious and made it hard for physical workers to fulfill tasks,” Kaul told TechCrunch. “We saw it happening in the event management space, forcing workers to coordinate across technologies.”
Legacy communication platforms like Slack are aggregating communications, but are better for remote workers; for physical workers, they rely more on text communication, he said. However, the disadvantage with texting is that you have to keep scrolling to get to the new message, and old communication is lost amid all of the replies.
They began developing a platform for small hotels to help them transition to digital and provide communication in a non-chronological order that is easier to access, enables discussion and can be searched. Users of the SaaS platform can build live personnel maps to see where employees are and what the event floor looks like, prioritize alerts and automate tasks while monitoring progress.
Marriott became a customer after one of its employees saw the Channels platform was being tested at an event. He saw employees pulling out their phones and asked the manager why they were doing that, and was told they were testing out the product and referred him to Kaul.
“What they thought was helpful was that it was communication, and though the employees were checking their phones, it was quick and they remained attentive,” Kaul said.
Channels provides a solid platform in terms of analytics and graphical representation, which is a major selling point for customers, leading to initial traction and revenue for the company that Rosen said he expects can occur at the convention level the company is striving for.
The new funding will be used to grow in development and bring additional engineering talent to the team. In addition, it will allow Kaul and Rosen to continue with their studies, while Mohammed will be doing more full-time work. They want to increase their recurring revenue in the Middle East while building up operations in the United States.
Jamal Al-Barrak, managing partner of Sahra Growth Capital, said Channels was on his firm’s radar ever since they won the 2020 Dubai X-Series competition it sponsors. As a result of winning the competition, he was able to see the founders on multiple occasions and hear their growth.
Sahra doesn’t typically invest in companies like Channels, but the firm started a “seed sourcing effort” to make investments of between $200,000 and $800,000 into early-stage companies, Al-Barrak said. Channels is one of the first investments with that effort.
“Channels is one of our first investments in this initiative and they look very promising so far even compared to our investments before we started this initiative,” Al-Barrak said. He liked the founders’ work ethic and their focus on the event industry, which he called, “historically outdated and bereft of technological innovation.”
“Sid, Elan and Ibrahim are some of the youngest yet brightest entrepreneurs I have come across to this day and I have invested in over 25 technology startups,” he said. “Additionally, I enjoyed that they had proof of concept with a prior customer base and revenue. I was most impressed by their vision past their current industry and bounds as they want to encapsulate communication for all physical workers, whether it is events, retail or more.”
By Christine Hall
Coming off a $1.5 million seed round in June, bttn. announced Thursday that it secured another $5 million extension, led by FUSE, to the round to give it a $26.5 million post-money valuation.
The Seattle-based company was founded in March 2021 by JT Garwood and Jack Miller after seeing the challenges medical organizations had during the global pandemic to not only find supplies, but also get fair prices for them.
“We went into this building on the pain points customers had dealing with a system that is so archaic and outdated — most were still faxing in order forms and keeping closets full of supplies, but not knowing what was there,” Garwood, CEO, told TechCrunch.
Bttn. is going after the U.S. wholesale medical supply market, which is predicted to be valued at $243.3 billion by the end of 2021, according to IBISWorld. The company created a business-to-business e-commerce platform with a variety of high-quality medical supplies, saving customers an average of between 20% and 40%, while providing a better ordering and shipping experience, Garwood said.
It now boasts more than 300 customers, including individual practices and surgical centers, and multiple government contracts. It is also currently the preferred supplier for over 17 healthcare associations across the country, Garwood said. In addition to expanding into dental supplies, bttn. is also attracting customers like senior living facilities and home and hospice care.
Garwood intends to use the funds to expand bttn.’s technology, sales and operations teams, and increase its partnerships. The company is also adding new features like a portal to track shipments more easily, better order automation and improve the ability to control when supplies will get to them.
Bttn. is also analyzing more of the data coming in from its marketplace to recognize where the trends are coming from, including hospitalization rates, to share with customers. For example, if hospitals are overcrowded, supply shortages will follow, Garwood said.
“The medical supply industry was built on inequity, and we have a sense of duty to build a product that enables a better future for our customers,” he added. “We can proactively let customers know that spikes are expected, provide them with correct information and give that power back to the consumers and healthcare providers in ways they never had before.”
Whereas bttn.’s first seed round was “about pouring gas on the fire,” partnering with FUSE this time around was an easy decision for Garwood, who said the firm is bringing new assets to the table.
Brendan Wales, general partner at FUSE, said via email that his firm backs promising entrepreneurs building businesses in the Pacific Northwest and discovered bttn. before they announced any funding.
He said there is massive consumerization of healthcare, most evident on the patient side for years, but now becoming so on the provider side. Medical office employees are looking for the same type of customer experience they get from online businesses they frequently shop at, and bttn. “has a relentless drive to provide the same type of experiences and interactions to health providers.”
“We fell in love with the idea of providing a transparent and delightful customer experience to health providers, something that has been sorely lacking,” Wales added. “That, tied in with a young and ambitious team, made it so that our entire partnership worked tirelessly to partner with them.”
By Christine Hall