Announcing AbstractOps: the Scaling System for your Company

by Hari Raghavan in February 7th, 2022
AbstractOps

After 3 years of research and design, and 2 years of development and growth, we’re excited to announce a round. Not our "Series A round". It's just "a round". Because who can keep track of what these labels mean anymore ¯\(ツ)/¯.

We’ve raised $7,654,321 (yes, we’re just that weird) from:

  • VC investors including Craft Ventures, Hustle Fund, Loup Ventures, 8VC, Oyster VC, and Tribe Capital
  • Solo Capitalists / Super Angels including Naval Ravikant, Scott Belsky, Packy McCormick, Cindy Bi, Avlok Kohli, Henry Ward, Allison Pickens, Austen Allred, Sam Parr, Immad Akhund, Chris Golda, Austin Rief, Ankur Nagpal, Julian Shapiro, Nikhil Gopalani, Sahil Bloom.
  • Founders / CXOs at 20+ unicorns including Adobe, Coinbase, Okta, Twitter, Instacart, Reddit, Ramp, AngelList, Carta, BetterUp, Pipe, Compound Labs, Duo Security, DataRobot, Udemy, Looker, Hippo Insurance, Clearco, Mercury, Envoy, Gainsight, Human Interest.
  • And another 300+ startup operators & angels

Check out our full list of investors here!

Founders & Operators spend too much time on admin busywork

It’s never been more desirable to start a company — in the last few years, new business creation has exploded. It’s never been easier to raise money for a startup than today — venture funding has 10xed in less than a decade. But it’s never been more overwhelming, either — the mechanics to start, run, and scale a company have gotten increasingly complicated in a world of distributed work, global teams, and a proliferation of SaaS.

In your first year as a new business, you’re probably looking forward to figuring out building your product and acquiring customers. But you’ll instead end up spending a bunch of time learning HR, Finance, Legal, and Compliance “administration”. You’ll encounter several dozen software tools, service providers, and government agencies... virtually none of which talk to each other.

We’ve encountered this problem repeatedly in the 5 companies we’ve started or run (worth $3B+ today), and 100+ companies we’ve angel invested in (worth $50B+ today): you must keep the “corporate entity” alive and well.

Looking in 4 places for your EIN. Switching between 6 tools to hire an employee. Texting 5 founder friends to ask about their benefits policies. Sending 15 emails to coordinate details required for an equity issuance. All along, wondering: did I get it right?

We think it’s crazy that the smartest minds in the world are spending their time acting as a human API — shuffling paper or keystrokes between disparate systems — when we live in the age of actual APIs. Why doesn’t anything talk to each other? Why does everyone reinvent the wheel? Why isn’t this a solved problem?

There are a million libraries for engineers, or Salesforce templates for go-to-market. But there is no accepted framework for back-office functions that provides a “golden path.”

Incredibly, large companies haven’t solved or optimized this either. They just throw people at the problem: G&A spend is 15%+ of a company’s bandwidth and spend (even at public companies). The vast majority of that is administrative and tactical work, not strategic, which is costly time that does not drive your company forward, but has to be done anyway.

Introducing the Scaling System for your Company

There are a handful of systems that you’re really glad you have in growth mode, and really, really glad you have in hypergrowth mode. They take a core building block of your organization — the Product, the Business, or the Company — and ensure things don’t break during a 10x or 100x.

We call these types of platforms Scaling Systems.

They’re easy to get started with early on, you can grow more smoothly with their help, and they serve you well at scale.

  • First, for easy adoption by small teams, it should be simple and intuitive; and it should have a short time-to-value, addressing a critical mass of needs on day 1.
  • Second, to ease bottlenecks along the growth curve, it should act as a knowledge graph with collaborative features, a hub for that function.
  • Finally, to scale to enterprises, it should be flexible and customizable; and API-first so it can integrate into specialized tools.

Given the job of “operations” in any department is to remove bottlenecks, these Scaling Systems are often defined as categories with “ops” in their name.

Developer Ops platforms like Gitlab, Github, AWS, GCP, Azure are Product Scaling Systems.

Customer Ops platforms like Salesforce, Gong, Gainsight, Segment are Business Scaling Systems.

Company Ops platforms like... wait. That doesn’t exist.

To solve this, we combined our understanding of these principles with our expertise in company-building.

We designed AbstractOps to be the ideal Company Scaling System.

  • Hundreds of standardized, best-practice checklists to help complete routine operations in minutes. It takes less than an hour to set up early on, and delivers immediate value on contract management, hiring, payments, and compliance.
  • A search engine for all your company data in one place: business relationships, files, transactions. No more logging into 5+ tools to look up basic employee or compliance records.
  • Integrations with best-in-class software, like Gusto and Mercury; many more like Pulley, Quickbooks, Ramp, Deel, Carta, Rippling and more coming soon. As operations scale, we can custom-design workflows to suit more complex needs.
  • Guidance, flex capacity and project management from a seasoned operator. Continuously upgraded, based on the experiences of hundreds of other companies.

Today, we’re launching the AbstractOps platform, along with the first few “apps”.

🕸️ Search: The search engine for your company. We organize and index the web of information composing your enterprise: documents, relationships, and workflows.

📜 Contracts: Template and send any agreement for e-sign (to advisors, hires, investors, customers, partners). We pre-fill information to avoid repetition and errors. Store, search, and share files securely with a couple of clicks. Auto-organized for you (by AI + Humans!).

💁 Hiring: Send and track offers. Sync new employees to Gusto. Unify HR records — US & international — through integrations (API + Human!) into Gusto, Deel, Pulley, Carta, Rippling.

Coming soon:

📦 Vendors: Manage vendors, contracts, data, and payments them in the same place, too, regardless of whether it’s routed through Mercury, Ramp, Brex, Transferwise, Deel, Gusto...

✅ Compliance: Put your regulatory compliance on autopilot. Hire someone in a new state? Registered in 9 jurisdictions? We’ll cover registrations, reports, and payments, proactively.

...And so much more.

We help you as founders and executives understand everything that’s going on while you’re scaling, without fear of unforced errors... while spending as little time on it as possible.

We help you as HR, legal, and finance professionals drive the company forward on culture, planning, risk, and strategy... without spending hours on a forgotten state filing or due diligence checklist.

We help you as builders scale your company, distraction free. Spend all your time on your product and customers, and on your core mission: putting a dent in the world, through sheer force of will.

We help make entrepreneurship accessible to anyone.

Customer Love

We’ve worked at a lot of startups. We’ve never encountered a problem that resonates with our audience so deeply.

AbstractOps is like a walking cheat code for your startup. On Deck went from 6 to 300 people in less than 2 years. AO was critical in that journey.

— David Booth, CEO @ On Deck

We use AbstractOps to generate most of our contracts, but also to capture documents from other sources and turn them into an intelligent database of docs that is way better than a Dropbox folder. They're starting to become a source of truth, the first place we go to check for documentation about Maven.

— Gagan Biyani, CEO @ Maven, Fmr. Co-founder and President @ Udemy

Whenever we have a question on best practices, ranging from benefits, to buying the right insurance policy, to expediting a 409a valuation, to policies and benchmarks at peer startups, our AbstractOps Partner is our first call. They save us hundreds of hours a year in research.

— Clara Vydyanath, COO @ Equi

That’s just the tip of the iceberg — check out our wall of love for more.

💁 Sign up here, we’d love to help.

🤗 Check out our jobs page here, we’re hiring for a number of roles.

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