Bigchange 102m great partners lundentechcrunch
These days, we hear a lot about the future of work and the development of new and improved solutions for remote workforces, but fleet management software businesses have been working on this issue for many years already, even if they haven’t exactly been considered “tech startups.” A hint that both investors are paying greater attention to these B2B businesses and that the firms themselves are recognising a fresh possibility for expansion is the announcement today by one of the more established participants in the industry of its first sizable round of funding.
On dekuNukem’s Github, you can find the designs and source code for the open source DRM removal solution for dishwashers. In reality, they charge $40 for the Cassette Rewinder, a pre-soldered circuit board that instantly resets the cassette EEPROM. It goes without saying that this isn’t good for the business that manufactures Bob, but it could make the product more appealing to the genuine anti-DRM zealots out there.
According to BigChange, Great Hill’s investment is worth £100 million (or $136 million) in the firm. According to one account, Port may have received £48 million as part of a secondary transaction using that money. The business, which has been operating since 2012, seems to be lucrative. According to documents monitored by PitchBook, it had previously raised just a little amount of money (about $2 million). At one time, it attempted to raise an angel round but abandoned the effort before it could be completed.
This acquisition is noteworthy as a reflection of how the borders of the technology business are spreading and becoming more hazy as it proceeds to effectively merge with every other industry in the globe.
BigChange is not a startup from London, nor is it from the Cambridge or Oxford regions, nor is it from Bristol or any other southern location. It comes from the north, notably Leeds, which has an amazing amount of companies despite not receiving nearly as much investment or attention as businesses in southern cities and regions have. (One notable exception is the online retailer Pharmacy2U; the Leeds-based firm has received funding from Atomico, BGF, and others; given that businesses like Amazon are interested in expanding in this market, it is probably one to watch.))
One of the major trends in technology today is how much of the action is becoming decentralised. This is due to the fact that many of us are working remotely in order to stop the spread of COVID-19, as well as the fact that many people are choosing to relocate from expensive areas like the Bay Area to other locations for better quality of life.
Of course, there are more U.K. cities with thriving technological ecosystems, like Manchester, Edinburgh, Cardiff, and others (just as there have been across many cities in the U.S. for years). Yet when one of these, this time from Leeds, wins a sizable fundraising round, it suggests that something similar may occur in the UK as well, with more cash flowing to areas outside the typical suspects as well as talent.
The other aspect of this decentralisation narrative focuses on the real infrastructure that BigChange is constructing.
This particular company is one of several that have jumped into the development of applications and more substantial pieces of software geared towards those who work with their hands more often than “knowledge workers,” do not sit at desks, and are on the go. It includes apps for folks who are travelling to help them manage their work and travels more effectively (which it calls JourneyWatch).
It has an app to track them better, utilise the software to balance the jobs and get more insights from the work for those who are still in the dispatch section of the operations (sold as JobWatch). Now, 50,000 employees across 1,500 businesses use these apps, which run on ruggedized devices and rely on SaaS architecture for distribution. These users are spread out around the globe, but a sizable percentage are in the United Kingdom.
BigChange is hardly the only business aiming its marketing at field personnel. Only last month, we highlighted a sizable fundraising round for Jobber, a North American company that creates tools for service workers. Hover (technology and a broader range of tools for home repair people to source materials, make pricing and work estimates, and run the administration of their businesses) and GoSite (a platform to help all kinds of SMBs — the key factor being that many of them are coming online for the first time — build out and run their businesses) are two other companies taking advantage of the opportunity to bring tech to a wider audience beyond knowledge workers. Others in this exact field include Klipboard, Azuga, ServiceTitan, ServiceMax and more.
The PE company Great Hill Partners, whose name you might recognise, has acquired large holdings in a number of media firms, including Gizmodo, Ziff Davis (back in the day), and Storyblocks, and supported businesses like The RealReal and Wayfair. In this instance, BigChange’s adoption by a very diverse variety of sectors that include “field service” as part of their job attracted the organisation.
Drew Loucks, a partner at Great Hill Partners, stated in a statement: “Unlike niche companies who concentrate on smaller clients and certain sub-verticals, Martin and his outstanding team have established a flexible, all-in-one platform for field service professionals and operators. In addition to being able to serve customers of almost any magnitude or vertical, BigChange’s technology is distinguished by its award-winning capabilities in product development and customer support.