Sometimes you just know when something’s the right fit. That’s how Backbone PLM co-founder and CEO Matthew Klein felt when he first met Venture Best’s Co-Chair Shawn Stigler and they started “nerding out” about their smartphones together.
Finding the right fit is key for a tech start-up like Backbone PLM—and for its clients, which already include major direct-to-consumer names like Warby Parker and Stitch Fix. Backbone’s SaaS platform is all about unifying formerly isolated pieces of the product development process. Backbone PLM connects the dots by automating workflow and centralizing data for consumer goods companies, helping them get new products to market faster.
Matthew and his brother Andrew, co-founder and COO, launched Backbone in 2016. With decades of combined experience in apparel and consumer goods, the brothers knew that traditional PLM (product lifecycle management) was “slow, rigid, and cumbersome. We saw an opportunity to reinvent product development with a platform built for modern, creative product teams that need to be more nimble.” Luckily, they found the right lawyers to help them.
When Matthew met Shawn, Backbone was working with a bigger law firm but “felt a disconnect.” “We were looking to go out on another round of funding,” Matthew recalls, “and thinking about using counsel closer to home. As soon as we started working with Shawn, I saw an investment from him like I’d never seen before. He genuinely cared about our business, and he wanted to be our legal partner.”
“The concept and execution of Backbone blew me away,” Shawn says. “These guys are changing the future of how we design, make, and buy things. I’m excited to help them realize their vision.”
Shawn and associate David Cline guided Backbone through its third round of VC funding, an $8 million Series A to support development of the platform. “They were amazing,” says Matthew, “working quickly and efficiently with investors’ counsel to stay on track, calming my nerves on late-night calls, finding a way past every roadblock.”
Our Venture Best team has since taken on all of Backbone’s corporate legal work and is helping the company finalize a new round of funding. Matthew loves the fact that “Shawn and David make you feel like they’re your in-house counsel. Every business is different, and these guys truly know ours. They know what makes Backbone tick—and where there’s room for growth and change.” That’s especially important for a business that was one of the fastest growing tech companies in 2018.