Firstbase, a provider of remote infrastructure for global teams, today announced $13 million in funding, with a Series A round led by Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from B Capital Group, and Alpaca VC. This follows a $2 million seed investment led by Alpaca in August 2020 with participation from Acceleprise, Remote First Capital and Backend Capital. The new capital will fuel the company’s rapid growth plans through hiring, product development and increased customer deployment. Firstbase also announced it has added Andreessen Horowitz’s David Ulevitch to its Board of Directors.
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Firstbase Co-Founders Trey Bastian (CTO) and Chris Herd (CEO) (Photo: Business Wire)
Firstbase’s mission is to improve individuals’ quality of life by enabling remote work. Its software platform helps companies set up, manage, maintain and retrieve all physical equipment remote workers need to work from home comfortably and effectively. From laptops and monitors, to mics and headsets, and ergonomic chairs and adjustable desks, Firstbase handles deployment of assets, IT installation and upgrades, ongoing repairs, culture and perks, and asset collection when a worker leaves.
“Most organizations underestimate the complexity and cost of going remote. Typically, HR, IT and facilities teams are involved in getting a single employee set up with hardware, access and security,” said Chris Herd, Co-founder and CEO of Firstbase. “With so many people involved, mistakes are often made, costs are incurred and time is wasted. Our solution removes the hassle and friction from the remote setup and promises a better experience for everyone – emotionally, logistically and financially. The same is true on the other end, when an employee leaves, we take the headache out of collecting, tracking and redeploying the equipment.”
Firstbase, headquartered in the U.K. and New York, was founded in 2019 by Chris Herd and Trey Bastian. The entrepreneurs were initially forming a fintech startup, but quickly pivoted their focus when they identified the common equipment infrastructure challenge among their business customers. Herd, a former operations manager, was responsible for outfitting oil rigs in remote locations. He saw firsthand that it was expensive, time-consuming, and nearly impossible to get assets back when they were deployed remotely. As a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Airforce, Bastian managed the deployment, support and training of mission critical cybersecurity systems and technical infrastructure in the most challenging environments globally. Applying what they learned in these environments to the obstacles of physical provisioning for remote office workers, exacerbated by a global pandemic, led to the creation of Firstbase.
The Physicality of Remote Work
The adoption of remote work is estimated to have been accelerated by 15 years by the pandemic. This seismic shift caused companies of all sizes to scramble to get employees up and running comfortably and securely from remote locations. However, the cross-functional logistics of ordering, shipping, setting up, managing, repairing and eventually collecting the physical assets needed to perform a function couldn’t be executed overnight. Approximately 5 hours of time and nearly $3,500 is required to set up a single hire. By comparison, Firstbase’s platform centralizes the entire process in 30 seconds with an affordable monthly subscription. The subscription allows a company to establish its own unique catalogue of available inventory and the worker to select the equipment and tools to fit his or her individual needs. Then, every aspect of order fulfillment and delivery is outsourced to Firstbase, essentially providing an infrastructure-as-a-service. Ongoing, Firstbase serves as a single source of truth, enabling organizations to seamlessly manage their assets.
The Benefits of Flexible Location
According to a recent Prodoscore survey, there are nearly 255 million desk jobs globally and an estimated 90% of these workers have expressed an affinity for working from home. Hybrid and flexible WFH policies will be the new norm, providing an HR benefit for employees and improving businesses’ operating costs. Estimates predict that if U.S. workers split their time 50/50 between the office and home, organizations could save nearly $1 trillion on IT management costs and offset real estate costs by 50-90%, depending on the frequency workers are expected to attend in person.
“With a permanent shift in attitudes toward remote and hybrid work, employees and companies are more reliant on their equipment and workspace to stay connected and productive than ever before,” said David Ulevitch, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz. “Firstbase is the critical infrastructure that will power the distributed workforce. Employees get the setup they need to stay effective working from home and employers have a centralized view and management system for all equipment. Firstbase is really leading the charge into the future of work.”
Firstbase’s software is currently in use with customers with remote workers across the U.S. and Europe, including: TaxJar, Hey Summit, Recording Academy, Robin Healthcare, Clubhouse, SureSwift Capital, Edify, Filtered, DMT, Elemendar, Italic, Zego and Verse. The new capital will be used to triple Firstbase’s workforce over the next year, making key hires across product development, marketing, and sales. The company also intends to increase integration with HR and collaboration software partners and update its customer experience to quickly convert its 10,000+ waitlisted organizations.
Firstbase is a remote work SaaS platform providing organizations with a centralized source to track and manage physical equipment assets. Founded in 2019, just six months before the COVID-19 pandemic forced workers globally to go remote, thousands of organizations have turned to Firstbase to expedite the setup of secure, reliable and comfortable remote work environments that promote productivity. To date Firstbase has helped more than 1,500+ individuals work remotely and is adding 350+ each month. Firstbase is headquartered in Scotland and New York. For more information: https://www.firstbasehq.com/