Kleiner Perkins led a Series B round of fundraising for Firstbase today. When the world’s remote work transition was well underway, TechCrunch covered the company’s Series A. We were wondering about how Firstbase is planning for the future in a more hybrid environment, with organizations large and small attempting to find out how to combine in-office personnel with staff working from home.
Customers may use the startup to onboard remote workers, ensuring that they have the necessary gear when they need it. If you moved jobs during the epidemic, you’re probably aware that distributing technological items to new hires isn’t always easy, a reality that becomes more difficult when the physical distance between corporate headquarters and individual workers increases.
Since our previous conversation, the firm has expanded its feature set. Firstbase continues to assist customers’ new employees with hardware selection, shipment, retrieval, and administration. It diversified its offerings by including finance. Customers may now pay for new staff gear and other remote-friendly office peripherals like furnishings on a ratable basis for a regular cost.
In a hybrid era, how do you grow? The important question for Firstbase is how it fits into a world where in-office employment is partially returning. Will the market be less welcoming to Firstbase’s remote-employee servicing product than before, after posting startup-grade metrics in recent quarters — including 16x revenue growth since April 2021, from a 7x customer bump over a similar time period — will the market be less welcoming to Firstbase’s remote-employee servicing product than before?
Companies with hybrid workforces are utilizing Firstbase to provide gear to in-office workers as well as those who work from home, according to Founder and CEO Chris Herd. TechCrunch inquired about the company’s client split between remote-first and hybrid-style businesses in order to have a better understanding of where the average business is headed. According to Herd, Firstbase’s customer mix is pretty balanced, although some ostensibly hybrid businesses are still mostly remote. I’d say the future of employment is still in flux.
However, what Firstbase is doing could be a good fit for the workplace environment. In the United States, the United Kingdom, and Europe, the startup is either creating or planning warehouse capacity. This physical presence helps the business to better control the flow of gadgets to and from employees, reducing the time between need and delivery. Even for corporations searching for more IRL labor, shifting key supply chain tasks to a third party during a worldwide chip crisis might be appealing. In addition to its existing operations, TechCrunch wanted to know if Firstbase had any aspirations to become a mobile device management (MDM) company. MDMs like Jamf, which is now open to the public, focus more on on-device work than on device delivery and care.
Building MDM capabilities was a possibility two years ago, according to Herd. In the meanwhile, he added, Firstbase discovered that clients preferred it to integrate with current MDM and HRIS (human resource information system) software systems rather than replacing them. If Firstbase sells enough to small businesses that don’t have MDM software, it could be able to construct something easy for them in the future.
Regardless, Herd stated that his firm is moving up the maturity ladder to clients hiring hundreds of thousands of people after initially intending to work with Series A and B-stage startups. He said that this meant six-figure transactions rather than five-figure deals. The company’s recent growth rate is explained by these broad indicators, which are normally not shared by private firms. Firstbase is a clever mix of software, hardware, and financial software. It’s difficult to estimate its gross margins or other economic information because of this. Let’s hope someone leaks the deck — or the firm goes public as soon as possible so we can see the numbers.