BackOps is a back-office-as a service with a battalion of Moms managing startups and small businesses. Now with a new $7 million round in Series A funding, BackOps has the reserves to build an army of parents who have left their professional careers to stay at home and take care of their children. Think of that, thousands of moms running small businesses. It just sounds so right.
The round was co-led by Sherpa Ventures and e.ventures and includes Google Ventures, with participation from existing seed investors including CrunchFund and Mark Pincus. This investment brings BackOps’ total funding to nearly $9 million.
BackOps is a SaaS provider that manages back-office, legal, human resources, sales, finance — really everything that makes a small business work. It has a unique model. BackOps aggregates SaaS services such as Expensify and Bills.com through an API, filtering the data through dasbboards for different people and teams in the company. On top of the service is an analytics platform to help customers monitor their businesses with alerts, notifications and access to data about the business.
Each of BackOps customers has a team of Moms (and some Dads) that the company calls the “Riveters,” in reference to Rosie the Riveter, the famous World War II cultural icon who represented the thousands of women who worked in U.S. factories while the men served in the military forces.
The Riveters are mostly women who have left the traditional office setting to take care of the kids. Chairman and Co-Founder Mark Goldstein said the Riveters now support 100 or so companies that BackOps now manages. The Riveters are crowdsourced in much the way a service like TaskRabbit helps find people to do work. All the Riveters are full-time, BackOps employees.
It’s the first investment for Sherpa Ventures, started earlier this year by former Menlo Ventures partner Shervin Pishevar and Goldman Sachs managing director Scott Stanford. I asked Stanford why Sherpa made its first investment in BackOps. He likened it to Uber:
In the same way Uber organized and supported the livery cottage industry into a standardized professional global brand, BackOps too has the opportunity to empower providers of professional services to deliver unparalleled quality to their customers. What Salesforce and Uber did to their respective markets, BackOps is doing to SMB services.
The demand for great, easy-to-use business services has provided a foundation for a new market that requires no server infrastructure to manage, no software to update and no expensive consulting to build custom solutions. But the hard part comes with piecing it all together. That’s far easier to do with open APIs that provide a way to weave different services into one cohesive platform. The trick is how to do it. That’s where companies like BackOps enter the picture.
But because it is so much easier to do, BackOps biggest challenge is keeping ahead of the pack. That’s where the Riveters come into the picture. They are the people who abstract the tasks that a startup has to manage. A company is built on its products but it’s the people and how they manage the operation that matters most. The Riveters fill this role, virtually abstracting the tedious work that can be such a bear for the startup just getting started.