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Backbone’s $18 Million Series A Signals New Frontier for Modern PLM

Backbone PLM, the product lifecycle management platform designed for high-growth digitally native brands, closed its Series A funding round with an $18 million haul, bringing its total investment to date to $23 million.

The company raised $8 million in August of last year in the first half of its Series A, funneling that funding toward the rollout a new cloud-based platform last month in a launch timed to coincide with The Lead Innovation Summit 2019. Brands ranging from Allbirds to Outdoor Voices rely on Backbone PLM to develop and collaborate on customer-centric products in a “fully digital space,” according to Jason Mendelson, founding partner of Foundry Group, which recently contributed $10 million to the back half of the startup’s Series A.

Today Backbone’s roster of clients spans industries ranging from fashion and textiles to furniture, home goods and hard lines. The SaaS-based platform integrates with many of the services that rapidly growing brands use, like Shopify, Netsuite and Slack. Backbone claims its platform offers the rich data brands need to make smarter decisions in bringing products to market—especially in the competitive direct-to-customer sphere.

Not only will the new funding help Backbone grow its headcount and expand the platform’s capabilities, but the investment “will also aid us as we advance in the middle market while garnering more business in the enterprise market,” said Backbone CEO Matthew Klein.

And, he added, Backbone’s competition isn’t with other PLM companies, contrary to conventional thinking. “Since the beginning, we’ve never thought of ourselves as being up against our legacy incumbents,” Klein explained. “Instead, we are competing against a fast-growing direct to consumer economy with a customer demand that is greater than ever.”

Backbone said it plans to double its current staff roster of 50 to 100 by the second quarter of 2020, which includes hiring a chief operations officer.