Openprise: Automating Complex SaaS Workflows
June 25, 2020 | Scott Murphy
Broad adoption of SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions like Salesforce and Netsuite over the last decade has created enduring challenges affecting every enterprise department. Without an effective workflow management platform, teams often struggle to keep up with the technical requirements of automating and scaling data-driven processes, especially as tech stacks become more complex.
Openprise, an Alumni Ventures Group portfolio company, has created a solution that better connects SaaS applications within an organization, simplifying workflows and improving results. The company’s Data Orchestration Platform addresses the pain points surrounding SaaS tech stacks with no-code automation and an integrated platform.
Taking Out Garbage Data and Processes
A key driver of Openprise’s platform is solving the “garbage-in/garbage-out” problem of managing SaaS workflows. Poor data management wastes resources without delivering results, especially as tech stacks become more complicated and expensive to build. Openprise improves the ROI of SaaS investments and makes these apps cheaper, faster, and easier to use.
The company’s Data Orchestration Platform uses bots to automate data-driven processes that involve large volumes of data, heavy computation, and complex business logic. The platform offers a “no-code solution,” which non-technical employees can use without help from IT. By enabling ops teams to build and manage their own automation, companies can execute and respond to business changes more quickly.
Additionally, Openprise users can easily configure and automate a broad range of standard and bespoke processes. An integrated platform means ops teams do not have to assemble processes with multiple software applications. This also enables customers to remove multiple point solutions from their tech stack to reduce complexity, improve manageability, and save money.
Solving the Problem with Firsthand Experience
Openprise is initially focused on the marketing vertical, with plans to expand into sales, HR, finance and other areas usings SaaS solutions. The company established relationships with key enterprise customers and continues to build traction as an effective solution across multiple industries.
Founder and CEO Ed King has a strong technical and product marketing background. In prior executive roles, he “lived the problem” that Openprise is now addressing. King also holds degrees from UC Berkeley and MIT, providing a natural connection with Alumni Ventures Group’s funds for members of these communities: Strawberry Creek Ventures (Berkeley) and Castor Ventures (MIT).
Strawberry Creek sponsored an investment in Openprise for AVG, participating in a seed round led by Bloomberg Beta. Other invested sibling funds include Castor, Congress Avenue Ventures (for the UTexas community), and AVG’s Total Access Fund.
Post-COVID Investment Opportunity
Peter Loukianoff, Managing Partner of Strawberry Creek Ventures, has maintained regular contact with Openprise CEO Ed King. In February, King mentioned that the company’s lead investors suggested an infusion of additional capital due to the onset of COVID-19. The company was doing well, hitting its milestones, and was planning to start fundraising for its next round in the third quarter.
However, as the Coronavirus disrupted the venture capital landscape and caused many investors to pay more attention to their existing portfolio companies, Openprise’s board recognized that sending Ed out into this environment would be fruitless and a very inefficient use of his time. Thus, the company decided to seek additional capital from insiders. This capital was provided at a slight up round due to the company’s progress, but still at a very attractive valuation. Strawberry Creek also participated in this round of financing.
On a recent call with Loukianoff, King expressed his appreciation for the support of Strawberry Creek and AVG. He is glad to report that the impact of COVID on Openprise’s business turned out to be minimal, but that fundraising in this environment would have indeed forced him to take an eye off execution. He and his team have done an impressive job navigating this challenge. This situation points out the benefit of investing alongside experienced venture capital investors who do not panic in such conditions and give our portfolio companies the best chance of being successful.