This week we announced Tonkean’s series B of $50m, led by Accel, with the participation of our existing investors Lightspeed and Foundation.
A year ago, in April 2020, right as the world went mad, we announced that we had closed our previous round (series A). We were excited and driven to share our technology with the world. To enable many more companies to reshape their operations.
What our users ended up building with Tonkean blew us away.
Last year was indeed crazy, though. Following our series A we tripled our company size, adding talented people from across the globe. We released a new version of our platform, introducing the world’s first enterprise building blocks (called Enterprise Components) to enable software composability. Top-tier companies, such as Instacart, Grubhub, EVERSANA, Crypto.com, and others, chose us to improve and standardize their operations. We founded AdaptivOps, and hosted the very first non-profit <> ops professionals hackathon, “ChangeMakers.”
Most importantly, however, we made an impact.
Throughout 2020, companies needed to stay agile and adaptive. Our customers used Tonkean to restructure, realign, and repurpose existing processes and personnel to handle the sudden changes, ensure their companies survived, and protect people’s jobs. They used Tonkean to quickly deliver new products and services to their customers in moments when timing was everything: One facilitated a large-scale distribution of Rapid Covid-19 Tests; another handled efficiently yet personally floods of requests and questions from confused and exhausted customers who were not sure what was going to happen to their orders and plans; a nonprofit partner matched elderly people who could not go grocery shopping with volunteers who were willing to help them.
Through all of these accomplishments—these solutions that blew us away—a pattern emerged.
None of the above are use-cases we designed Tonkean to assist with. There were no templates for the distribution of Covid tests in our knowledge base. There was no case study, manual, or explanation video for using Tonkean to address these problems. We weren’t the ones who came up with these solutions.
Individuals across industries, verticals, and professional backgrounds did. Working in their day jobs, they were facing disruption and uncertainty, and they used Tonkean to do something about it. They took a step. They made a move. They identified problems and were curious and driven to make a solution.
These people—our users—are Makers.
We call Tonkean the ‘Operating System for Business Operations’. It’s an abstraction layer designed to simplify complex concepts and technologies to empower business operations teams to build their own solutions without needing to code or rely on engineering.
It’s a platform, in part, for empowering Makers.
Empowered, Makers can do incredible things. On several occasions over the last few months, Makers have used Tonkean not only to deliver important and incredible products, but to transform their department, company, or local community by executing on their idea or vision (btw, we are capturing some of their personal stories and will publish them in the near future).
Many earned a new skill that opened additional and exciting personal opportunities. Many got promoted (one even got a party thrown for them by their boss).
That is the power of “teaching someone to fish.”
At Tonkean today, we want to make a world of Makers.
We want to empower anyone curious about solving complex problems with the ability to implement solutions on their own.
The enterprise world drives our economies and, as such, our civilization. That’s why the enterprise is where we are focused. At the core of every enterprise, meanwhile, lies its operations. And at the core of an enterprise’s operations is its operation teams. These are smart, driven individuals who want to solve problems. These are the Makers. Unfortunately, most of them today are still reliant on others to implement solutions to their problems. Off-the-shelf technology doesn’t always fit, and they (by and large) can’t write code themselves. Thus, they’ve remained unable to make a real difference on their own.
This year, and this new round of $50 million, is all about them—the Makers.
We have seen it work over and over again. Putting power into Makers’ hands. And there are so many more problems we want to help these Makers solve themselves with the power of Tonkean.
Aside from growing our team to better enable them, we are building a new Maker Academy, certification programs, and making significant additions to our platform to continue to support more companies and new industries and markets.
A new era of software is upon us.
It’s Makers’ time.