Lystable Announces $11M Series A Round To Fund US Expansion

FusionOps funding

Lystable, a provider of a technology solutions that allow enterprises to manage their independent workforce and services suppliers, has secured an $11 million investment in a round led by Peter Thiel's Valar Ventures, Goldcrest Capital and Spring Partners. The company, founded in 2014 in the U.K. and commercially launched in early 2015, also secured a Seed Round led by Valar in May 2015. The funds will be used to accelerate market entry and expansion in the U.S. and ongoing execution of the company’s business and product strategy. Lystable has reincorporated in the U.S. and is expanding its San Francisco office and U.S.-based workforce.

“This phase is now one of growth,” Lystable founder and CEO Peter Johnston said in a press release. “We have figured out a lot of nuances and worked to make our model repeatable and scalable with large companies. Securing this funding allows us to scale out sales and marketing and bring in a number of key senior hires on product and engineering.”

Over the past 14 months, Spend Matters has been following and covering Lystable, which was recently featured as our WIP of the Week.

Lystable emerged almost out of nowhere last year as one of a number of new technology players (including Work Market, Field Nation and Upwork Enterprise) and VMS providers (including Beeline, SAP Fieldglass, IQN and DCR Workforce) that, in recent years, have been seeking to establish a solution that enterprises could use to manage their own independent workforces. In some contexts referred to as freelancer management systems (FMS), these platforms have represented a departure from the emergence of two-sided, many-to-many freelancer marketplace and crowdsourcing platforms by offering individual enterprises their own independent workforce management capabilities. While this new general trend is clear, to date, enterprise adoption of these types of solutions has been slow and largely limited to pilots and deployments for specific departments.

Lystable, which avoids the label of FMS, does appear to be off to a precocious start. The company reports that, less than 18 months from commercial launch, more than 60 enterprises use the platform to manage, in aggregate, more than 20,000 contractors and vendors on a weekly basis. The company also reports that its clients include Google, The Economist and recent additions of Airbnb, MTV and CNBC. The degree of penetration across these enterprises has not been discussed.

“Entering a market dominated by much older software companies, Lystable has created software to help businesses manage relationships with an increasingly flexible workforce of freelancers, independent contractors and vendors,” the company said in the press release. This assertion suggests to us that, strategically, Lystable has something more in mind than an FMS-like model and may be taking aim at the VMS players. While some VMS players may no longer fit the description of older legacy software companies, there are some that do or might. While it is an ambitious goal, there probably is room for some disruption in the space, where technologies are changing rapidly and a range of other talent and workforce trends are clearly visible.  

I recently spoke with Peter Johnston in Palo Alto, not far from Sand Hill Road, as he laid out an impressive strategic vision that resonated with me as credible. It was in keeping with trends I am observing as well as contingent workforce platform and ecosystem scenarios that I expect to be realized in coming years.

Lystable has certainly staked its claim as a player ready to make its mark in the Wild West of now-evolving contingent workforce technology solutions and intermediation models. Here at Spend Matters, we look forward to continuing our coverage and analysis of Lystable’s expansion in the U.S. and its development in the enterprise market.

Please follow Andrew Karpie on Twitter @andrewkarpie. Read more of our contingent workforce and services procurement coverage.

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