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Orion Labs Raises $29M Series B To Serve As The ‘Slack For Deskless Workers’

Orion Labs, which provides automated communications for deskless and frontline workers, has raised $29 million in a Series B round of funding led by Dell Technologies Capital.

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The company’s aim is to help mobile teams–particularly those who aren’t sitting behind a desk and are highly distributed–more easily communicate in real-time. Frontline workers are most typically found in the transportation, logistics, manufacturing and health care industries. In other words, Orion Labs’ mission is to be a Slack for deskless workers.

The Series B financing brings the company’s total raised since its 2013 inception to $63 million, according to Crunchbase data. WRVI Capital and existing investors Avalon Ventures, Argentum Capital Partners, Allen & Company and Mathers Associates also participated in the round. The company last raised $18.3 million in September 2017.

In announcing the investment, Orion also said it has tapped Greg Taylor as the company’s new CEO while co-founder Jesse Robbins (who happens to be a volunteer fireman) will serve as its executive chairman. Taylor was previously an executive of a number of other SaaS companies. Most recently, he served as president of HighQ, a secure collaboration platform for law firms and banks that was acquired by Thomson Reuters last July. He also led Triple Point Technology Inc., a SaaS commodity trading and risk management platform that was acquired by ION in 2013.

Taylor points out that an astonishing number of people in these industries still rely on a decades-old technology: walkie-talkies or hand-held, portable, two-way radio transceivers. In fact, the global walkie-talkie market was recently estimated to have been valued at $9.77 billion in 2018.

Orion Labs is hoping to replace that technology for billions of deskless workers


According to Taylor, Orion saw its annual recurring revenue (ARR) grow by four times in 2019. He declined to be more specific, saying only that ARR is expected to be in the $5 million to $10 million range for 2020.

“We’re hoping to execute into the $20 million ARR range in the coming year (2021),” Taylor told Crunchbase News.

Orion currently has just over 50 employees and Taylor expects that number to double as the company continues to scale in the coming year. It has just over 100 customers, the majority of which are enterprises. Its user count is in the 5,000 to 10,000 range.

“Last Friday, we onboarded an entire regional transportation system that added 10 percent to our user base in just a single day,” Robbins told Crunchbase News. “Some customers onboard thousands of people in a matter of 10 or 20 minutes. They might have been using radios or a legacy product and switch their entire operations over at once.”

The company plans to use the new capital in part to beef up its sales and marketing teams.

“The business is quite ascendent right now,” Taylor said. “The current operating environment has only underscored the urgency for current prospects to begin deploying Orion. The coronavirus pandemic brings into focus globally this requirement for a whole new category of communication and collaboration.”

Investor POV

Tyler Jewell, managing director of Dell Technologies Capital, said that Orion is a new standard for deskless and frontline workers in the same way Zoom and Slack are collaboration tools for knowledge workers at a desk.

“Orion’s unique platform combines real-time communication, context and automation, enabling mobile teams to collaborate with each other, use powerful bots and workflows to become more effective, and remain heads-up in any environment,” Jewell said in a written statement.

Last week, we reported that Dell Technologies Capital also led a $20 million Series B round for Humio, which provides a real-time log management platform for on-premises and cloud infrastructure.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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