Series A / June 30, 2021
An $18.8m booster pack to help us accelerate manufacturing into the future.
A history of innovation in manufacturing
Bessemer Venture Partners can trace its roots to the Second Industrial Revolution, when the Bessemer Process made steel both accessible and durable for the first time. Cheap steel fueled the growth of the railroads, which transformed the United States economically and socially as goods and people could move across the country for the first time.
The firm could have been named for Andrew Carnegie or Henry Phipps Jr., the cofounders of Carnegie Steel and source of the initial capital for the first fund. Instead, the firm focused on the underlying technology that made Carnegie Steel’s explosive growth possible, an understanding that would drive Bessemer’s investment strategy throughout its history.
Today, BVP invests in companies like ours that work under the surface to fuel economic growth by connecting people to the goods and services they need. Their vision of an efficient, resilient supply chain led by a network of producers aligns with ours and makes them an ideal partner.
Connor and Alice have been consistently impressive since they first reached out with the best cold outbound email we’ve ever received. Their deep knowledge of the SaaS space, particularly the current ERP landscape, reveals an incredible amount of research and a sincere desire to help us maximize our strengths, understand our risks, and position Fulcrum effectively to maximize our impact on the future of manufacturing.
Building a legacy in SaaS
Simply put, Brian Feinstein is a rockstar. Five software-as-a-service companies in his VC portfolio have successfully exited since 2008, and he’s the author of BVP’s vertical SaaS investment thesis, so he pretty clearly knows which way the wind is blowing.
Before ever seeing a pitch deck, Brian and his team laid out ideas for what Fulcrum and Bessemer could do together; it was almost eerie how closely it matched our internal goals and plans. Having someone with Brian’s level of expertise and success in our space share such a similar vision is incredibly rare and we’re thrilled to have him lead this round!
None of the enterprise SaaS playbooks that guide top-class startups today existed when Tooey Courtemanche founded Procore. He wrote them. He not only grew Procore from its founding to the $12 billion company it is today, he created an entire field of industry-focused SaaS in the process.
For the work he did to create the path we’re on alone, we would be indebted to him. Having him invested in the work we are doing and the way we are doing it is validating and inspiring.
Like manufacturing, the home and commercial services industry is composed predominantly of small- and medium-sized businesses that were being largely left out of the advancements in connectivity and software. Vahe Kuzoyan and Ara Madessian took their families’ frustrations and created a company to solve their most common problems. Today, ServiceTitan is the #9 company on the Forbes Cloud 100.
Their deep understanding of the people we are focused on serving and their unrivaled success building a company dedicated to serving them makes them phenomenal additions to Fulcrum.
Motivate is an accurate title for this group, led by Dave Wieland, as they have been a great source of encouragement and positivity. In addition to numerous introductions, they provided timely advice and acted as a key reference for the company.
Yishan Wong was the CEO of Reddit, co-founder of Sunfire Offices, founder of Terraformation, an early engineer at PayPal, an early engineer at Facebook and an advisor at Quora.
Battery was eager to help us find the right people at the right time. Their network of connections has been a great resource for us.
Julian Counihan and the team at Schematic were a tremendous source of referrals, from potential customers to other portfolio founders willing to share their experiences. They have been willing sounding boards and given really helpful feedback over the last year.
Bread and Butter has flexed both its strong local ties as well as its national connections.
Ryan and Natty's knowledge of the startup space here in Minneapolis has been a great asset, especially as we continue to look for more local talent and media contacts. They have made key PR introductions and nominated Sunny for awards, several of which turned into follow-on media coverage.
In addition to helpful feedback from Ajay and Kevin, Bain provided access to incredibly helpful experts and roundtables that set into clear relief some of the choices we needed to make, particularly around early sales and marketing.
Mike’s influence in the tech industry is undeniable. From his time as executive editor of PC Magazine, executive vice president at Ziff Davis, and content director for several Softbank conferences to his investments as a venture capitalist, he has raised the profile of numerous ideas and companies that would go on to fundamentally change the technology landscape.
Matt and SpringTime Ventures have been trusted partners from Seed to Series A, always lending support and advice. Whether its been referring their best people, or acting as our therapist and cheerleader, they have been there every step of the way.
Utilizing their joint resources, IrishAngels and VitalizeVC have been helpful in numerous ways including making an introduction to an Illinois-based potential customer.
Phil Soran is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Minnesota history, having founded and successfully exited multiple companies, while leading numerous others as a highly sought-after director. He has been named entrepreneur of the year multiple times and was the inaugural inductee to the Titans of Technology Hall of Fame in 2014.
A champion and integral part of the Minnesota startup scene, Darren became an angel investor after selling InboxDollars to Prodege in 2019. His investments are predominantly in the seed-stage enterprise SaaS, consumer internet, and marketplace spaces and include companies like Cameo, Inspectorio, and Upsie in addition to Fulcrum.
Generous with his time and his shop even before becoming an investor, Jon Siami has joined Fulcrum to help move the entire field of manufacturing forward. His commitment to finding and evangelizing the highest quality tools led him to Fulcrum, and we’re eager to learn from him how Fulcrum can be the centerpiece of a truly world-class manufacturing tech stack.
Our core mission is to deliver a product that applies to all manufacturers. In the short term, we see our market such: discrete manufacturing, small and mid-market, with customers undergoing a generational change.
Very small businesses are simple enough not to need much automation. Very large businesses still demand heavy customization. As the network builds in strength, the power dynamic will shift, opening access to big companies.
We will one day serve a global market. Though each country has idiosyncrasies, manufacturers’ needs are similar everywhere.
Lurking below the logical market is an entire secondary market. By providing a best-in-class product that doesn’t need their services, their market is fundamentally part of ours as well.