Boulder, Colorado-based Backbone, the software developer behind the eponymous Backbone PLM workflow suite for consumer goods companies, today announced that it’s raised $10 million in follow-on funding led by the Foundry Group, bringing its total raised to $23 million to date following an $8 million raise in August 2018.
Backbone says the fresh funds will fuel R&D and a planned expansion into verticals like fashion, furniture, home and hard goods, and textiles. Additionally, the company says they’ll aid in its search for a chief operating officer and enable it to double its headcount from 50 to 100 by Q2 2020.
“This is an incredible investment. It will continue to accelerate the growth of the Backbone team and our core product. It will also aid us as we advance in the middle market while garnering more business in the enterprise market,” said Backbone CEO Matthew Klein, who cofounded the company with his brother Andrew Klein in 2014. “It allows us to further enable today’s leading disruptive brands to make products better, faster, and more efficiently. Since the beginning, we’ve never thought of ourselves as being up against our legacy incumbents. Instead, we are competing against a fast-growing direct to consumer economy with a customer demand that is greater than ever.”
The latest version of Blackbone’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform, which debuted in 2019, offers a wealth of tools designed to expedite consumer product design and iteration. It features color libraries and custom palettes, along with catalog cards that provide high-level product information such as names, divisions, categories, seasons, years, images, supplementary files, feedback, and revisions.
Backbone offers a timeline view that lets users and managers see when edits were made (and by whom) or revert to older versions, and an annotation system that connects to supply chains via existing bills of materials data. Product specs can be created from scratch or imported, and subsequently copied across multiple products or updated on the fly.
Backbone’s dynamic data architecture allows users to compare costs (including shipping and duties) at both the SKU and colorway level, and across multiple vendors. And perhaps more importantly, it collates things like internal reviews, photo comments, and factory tweaks in a single public or private dashboard that can be shared quickly shared with stakeholders or external partners.
Backbone occupies a cloud workflow market that’s anticipated to be worth $3.85 billion by 2023, and it’s making short work of it. Current customers include Kith, Warby Parker, Allbirds, Movado, Outdoor Voices, Black Diamond, Chubbies, Dockatot, Parachute, Peter Millar, UPPAbaby, Serena & Lily, and Amiri.
“We’ve seen firsthand the inefficiencies and difficulties direct-to-consumer brands face in getting great products to market,” said Foundry Group cofounder Jason Mendelson. “We believe that Backbone, with its modern and seamless platform experience, is the only real solution for brands to work in a fully digital space. We are incredibly excited to partner with them.”