If we had a mission statement

If we had a mission statement

Openprise just announced our Series B raise led by Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital. Our ability to raise a B round in this challenging funding environment and attract such a blue-chip investor is a testament to what our team has achieved. In 2023, when most SaaS companies experienced slowed growth, our YoY growth rate more than doubled (2.5x), something our team can be very proud of. We look forward to producing an encore performance in 2024. This is a key milestone in our startup journey, but what’s the significance of this milestone, and what will this new capital injection enable our team to do next?

Allow me to digress a bit first about the mission statement…

We had our sales kickoff and company offsite a few weeks ago. During a team-building exercise, the exercise leader asked about Openprise’s mission statement and was met by a bunch of blank stares. Predictably, after the exercise, a bunch of employees wanted to confirm with me that we really don’t have one. No, we don’t have one.

We don’t have a mission statement because I think it’s premature to have one before a startup is ready to scale. Seed-stage companies are like infants, Series A–stage companies are like toddlers, and Series B–stage companies are like teenagers. Having a mission statement before Series B is akin to asking a grade-schooler to commit to a college major and career choice. Just like humans start to form ideas about who we are and what we want to get out of life in our late teens and twenties, Series B companies finally have enough experience under their belt to be able to chart out a future in a meaningful way. Which means I may have to write a mission statement. I’m still not a big fan, a subject for another time, but if I were to write a mission statement, what would be the primary aims that guide our purpose? Three big things come to mind.

Give Ops data superpower

Openprise created a powerful RevOps Data Automation Cloud platform chock-full of industry-leading features and we enable a wide range of standard and bespoke use cases. However, if you ask our customers what they love about Openprise, they won’t list the automations they have created or even the ROI they have achieved. Instead, they get excited about how we have given them the superpower to be self-sufficient and agile, working with large amounts of data, and creating automation and self-service solutions that improve not just their team’s performance, but their own quality of life. These are precisely the kind of values that the uninitiated would roll their eyes at and think are fluffy marketing speak; well-founded skepticism in most cases. In Openprise’s case, though, it’s actually true. Here are two stories to illustrate the point.

  • For both our Series A and B raises, investors told me that, during customer reference calls, they closed with the question, “What would you do if you’re not allowed to use Openprise anymore at this company?” A number of customers responded that they would resign because their job is just too hard without Openprise.
  • A user was planning on retiring before he became an Openprise customer. He has since postponed his retirement indefinitely because he has never had so much fun and achieved so much in his entire 40-year career.

Our success so far has confirmed Openprise’s founding hypothesis that modern business users need a powerful no-code platform to help them work with large amounts of RevOps data and create automation solutions so they can be more agile and move up to 10x faster than IT can support. It took us a decade, but we have built a highly scalable and flexible product that has no peer. The Series B capital will enable us to continue to innovate so we can provide our customers the data superpower they need.

Be the purveyor of Ops data best practices

The coming of age of Openprise coincided with the emergence of the Ops profession, first marketing ops, then sales ops, now RevOps, and beyond. No, we did not have a crystal ball telling us a decade ago that Ops was going to disrupt how technology is bought and consumed. We simply observed and experienced a widening gap between the business and IT teams, and were optimistic enough to think that we could solve the problem and build something we wish we’d had as business users.

We believe the emergence of what Scott Brinker calls Big Ops is possibly the biggest paradigm shift in how IT is done in decades. Having spent decades building infrastructure software and selling to IT departments, our team and partners are intimately familiar with the best practices that IT has developed over decades, but which are still unknown to Ops. To accelerate its maturation, the Ops community needs to share knowledge as efficiently as possible and adopt some of the best practices that IT has honed over decades. Openprise has pioneered many of these IT best practices to the Ops community, for example:

  • Openprise API Factory enables Ops to turn any process into a custom API. This is what IT calls Service Oriented Architecture.
  • Openprise Open Data Catalog and Open Connector Framework bring Open Data and open source movements from IT to Ops.
  • RevOps Operations Center is the Ops version of IT’s Network Operations Center.

With the injection of new capital, we will continue to help the Ops community build, package, and share best practices, so we can train the next generations. Working with community partners like MO Pros and the RevOps Co-op, we aim to build the StackOverflow for Ops.

Make the promise of Big Data finally come true

Big Data has been around for decades and has taken on many labels over the years. Each go-round offered the same promise: to help business users be more data-driven. This promise is still unfulfilled. Cloudera couldn’t do it, and frankly, I don’t believe Snowflake can do it. The fundamental gap we observed when starting Openprise was that business users understand the data, know what questions to ask and how to interact with it, but only IT can wield the technologies capable of handling Big Data and create solutions with that data. Getting business and IT teams to work together seamlessly to achieve the promise of Big Data has proven to be slow, inefficient, and impractical. To alleviate this gap, IT created Business IT teams, but improvement has been modest at best. Making IT understand business has already proven to be a nonstarter, so the only solution left is to give business users tools they can use and data management skills they can master. With the right tools, Ops can finally realize the promise of Big Data.

We will invest our new Series B capital to expand our no-code RevOps Data Automation Cloud platform with new capabilities, including AI features that are more pragmatism than hype. We’ll continue to grow our ecosystem of partners, whose best-in-class solutions are integrated into our cloud. We believe the time has finally come for Big Data to deliver on its promises. Openprise is not just in the front-row seat, we are flying the plane, and Morgan Stanley just put jet fuel in the tank.

Join us on this epic ride.

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