Parsable scores $60M Series D as pandemic forces faster digitization of industrial sector

It seems the pandemic has forced the business world to digitize faster, and the industrial sector is no different. Parsable, a San Francisco startup that is helping digitize industrial front-line workers, announced a $60 million Series D today.

Activate Capital and Glade Brook Capital Partners co-led the round. They got help from new investors Alumni Ventures Group, Cisco Investments, Downing Ventures, Evolv Ventures and Princeville Capital, along with existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Future Fund, B37 Ventures, Honeywell and Saudi Aramco. Today’s money brings the total raised to more than $133 million, according to the company.

As I wrote at the time of the company’s $40 million Series C in 2018, “Parsable has developed a Connected Worker platform to help bring high tech solutions to deskless industrial workers who have been working mostly with paper-based processes.”

CEO Lawrence Whittle says that while the pandemic has shut some factories, and reduced overall worker headcount, it has still led to increased usage on the platform of companies whose products are considered essential services. What’s more, Parsable’s ability to deal with information on an individual mobile device or laptop means that in many cases, workers can stay separated and not share computers on the factory floor, making the process safer.

“Fortunately, the majority of our focus is in what’s often deemed as essential industries — so consumer packaged goods (CPG), food, beverage, agriculture and related industries such as paper and packaging. Those markets, interestingly enough, predominantly because of consumer demand continue to operate pretty successfully from a demand perspective during this COVID period,” Whittle told TechCrunch.

While the company would not give specific growth numbers, they shared that registered users grew 11x and the number of deployed sites tripled year over year. What’s more, they have users in more than 100 countries encompassing 14 languages.

With the money, the company wants to expand internationally into Asia, EMEA and Latin America. The startup has 120 employees, but plans to hire for essential needs over the next several months, preferring to be conservative and seeing where the pandemic takes the economy in the coming months.

Whittle points out that the diversity of its user base, and the desire to expand into other regions demands that they have a more diverse employee base, even while it’s a clear ethical consideration, as well.

“When you’re serving customers in over 100 countries, and you provide a product in in 14 languages, [having] diversity and inclusion is to some extent a given. What we’re doing as a company […] is taking every opportunity to further lean into that and that’s one of the leading lights of our of our business,” Whittle said.

Parsable launched in 2013. It took a few years to build the product. Today, customers include Georgia-Pacific, Henkel and Shell.