This morning Skedulo announced a $28 million Series B led by Microsoft’s venture arm, M12. It’s the second Series B out today that Microsoft took part in. Previously today M12 put capital into WorkBoard’s $23 million Series B.
But Microsoft led Skedulo’s round, making it all the more interesting. The capital comes after the firm raised around $11 million over several preceding rounds, including a November 2016 Series A led by Costanoa Ventures.
I picked Sekdulo’s round out of the pile of recent funding events because the firm was founded in Brisbane, the fact that Microsoft led, and how precisely it described some of its future plans. I love a good set of figures.
What It Does
A brief word on what Skedulo does. The company’s software platform is focused on “mobile workforce management.” Think managing a host of folks in the field, at once, with the end users (employees, contractors, etc), connected to the company through a mobile app, while the firm itself has a master view provided through a web interface.
In its own materials, Sekdulo touts its ability to schedule workers on the fly, syncing with text messages and pushing notifications after setting up work dispatches through a central calendar. Skedulo’s SaaS product is aimed at the verticals you’d expect, including “Field Service” and “Healthcare,” areas that include shift work and also, at times, distributed workforces.
It’s not exactly cheap, notably. Skedulo is $79 per “scheduler” per month and $59 per “mobile worker” per month. Provided that those prices stick, when the startup does land an account it should generate material recurring revenue (more precisely, Skedulo’s ACV looks higher from the outside than I would have initially imagined).
Got all that? Now, let’s talk about Microsoft for a moment. Earlier this year, Microsoft rolled out upgrades to its Teams product (a Slack cognate, in case you live in the Valley) to better support “Frontline Workers,” folks who are mobile-focused and work in shifts. Sound familiar?
I think that Microsoft is buying more visibility into the world of mobile and distributed workforces by investing in Skedulo. And, the two companies can probably sell to the same folks. That will help the smaller firm more than the larger, but you can see synergies working in both directions.
Numbers And Charts
The round isn’t too hard to understand, then. But there’s still a bit to unpack.
First, Skedulo has a very precise hiring plan. In a release, the firm said that it “plans to use the funds to increase headcount by 118 percent across its four offices, including adding 60 new employees to its Australian offices in Brisbane and Sydney.” That seemed surprisingly precise, so I asked about the 118 percent figure.
According to the firm, it is “really thinking about [its] next phase of growth as precisely and accurately as possible.” Even more, Skedulo is “planting a flag in the ground to be exact from % planning basis,” though it does retain the ability to “be fluid” as needed. That’s reasonable, and actually a bit fun. Precision is good.
Skedulo declined to share precise revenue metrics, but did indicate to Crunchbase News that it does “plan to more than double year over year, both in terms of revenue and new customers.” Presumably, the new headcount that the Series B will allow for will assist in meeting that goal.
Finally, what to make of the fact that Microsoft is in the round (leading, in this case). Well, to help answer the question, we charted up the number of deals that M12 (previously Microsoft Ventures, among other names) has taken part in. The following chart is accurate as of yesterday (non-inclusive of today’s deals), and includes both lead and participated rounds:
It’s more than I expected! Of course M12 isn’t the only active corporate venture group, but it’s certainly working to get up there in terms of activity.
I’ll close on a note that $28 million would have been a very large Series B ten years ago. Today it feels just a smidge oversized. But it’s 2019, and everything has gone the way of the Texas adage: bigger.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias.