Today SingleOps, an Atlanta-based software startup, announced that it has raised $6 million in new capital. The startup’s service is built to support companies that deal with outdoor work like landscaping, tree care and lawn maintenance. It’s an example of the vertical SaaS trend that has come to the fore in recent years, with startups building software services tailored to particular business categories.
The market that SingleOps is focused on isn’t small, mind. The company claims it’s worth $100 billion each year. And that means there is lots of room for SingleOps to grow.
Before this new $6 million round, SingleOps had raised just $2.5 million, using that to scale up to 30 staff (its software team is remote, making the company more prepared for COVID-19 than most) and around 400 customers. How did it do that in an era when most startups raised $2.5 million to clean their offices? According to the company’s CEO Sean McCormick and president Taylor Gould in an interview with TechCrunch, being capital-efficient has been part of the company’s modus operandi since its early days. (You can build SaaS with limited capital if early customers write you checks, it turns out.)
But toward the end of 2019, SingleOps reviewed its SaaS metrics and, deciding that things looked good, aimed to accelerate by bringing on new capital. The $6 million was led by Kansas City-based Five Elms Capital, with the firm taking a board seat in the transaction. According to McCormick and Gould, they liked Five Elms’ focus on B2B SaaS companies like their own. Diligence with existing Five Elms portfolio companies also helped them in making the choice.
SingleOps’ product, notably, isn’t narrow. Instead, the company’s service can log leads, handle scheduling, help provide estimates, has a mobile app and deals with scheduling, cost tracking and invoicing and payments. With a little tact, the self-described “green industry” that SingleOps works with is not renowned for being on the cutting edge of technological change; by offering a broader feature set, SingleOps can sell a single service to bring businesses in its target niche all the way into the cloud era.
The package of features is sitting well with the market so far, with SingleOps growing both GAAP revenue and ARR by “well over” 100% in the last 12 months, per its executives. And for the SaaS fans out there, SingleOps averaged 120% net retention over the last 12 months.
It was the first call for TechCrunch that I’ve had that involved several mentions of tree climbing as part of a startup’s go to market motion. As such, we had no choice but to write about the company, as it’s different than most startups we talk to, and therefore rather interesting.