As more employees are getting used to working from home, Firstbase has closed a $13 million Series A to help companies with the transition to remote work.
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Firstbase began its life as a fintech company, until co-founder and CEO Chris Herd and his co-founders discovered the pain points companies face trying to enact a remote workforce.
“We never built the business we were going to build,” Herd said with a laugh.
So instead of fintech, the company put together a software platform in September 2019 to help companies manage and maintain the equipment — such as laptops, monitors, desks and headsets — workers need to work from home effectively, while also handling the deployment of IT installation, upgrades and repairs.
Firstbase’s pivot turned out to be fortuitous when COVID-19 hit and office workers around the country were asked to work from home.
“COVID just accelerated work-from-home overnight,” he said.
The company — co-headquartered in the U.K. and New York — started to work with a handful of select customers last April and now has a customer base of nearly two dozen using the platform, Herd said. Most customers are in tech and typically range between 50 and 150 employees.
The company decided the timing was right for a Series A after seeding a strong 2020, Herd said.
“After seeing how we were closing new clients — seeing our cadence — we thought the time was right,” he said.
Firstbase sees a large opportunity in front of it, with little competition right now, Herd said. While companies like CDW and Rippling provide some of the same services, they work in different markets, Herd said.
He added that with estimates revealing there are 255 million desk jobs globally, and 90 percent of those employees wanting to work at least one day a week at home, the market is only getting bigger.
David Ulevitch, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, said there was already a big opportunity to build a company in this space before the pandemic, and that has only ballooned over the last year as more businesses transitioned to flexible or remote-first workforces.
“There is absolutely a gigantic company to be built here,” Ulevitch said.
“Firstbase isn’t just about getting the right desk or laptop for the WFH employee, but they’ll ultimately power the entire experience of being a productive, happy, remote employee,” he added.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias.
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