Superside, a new Alliance Venture win-win investment

Arne H. Tonning
Sep 9, 2019 · 4 min read

Providing opportunity for global design talent to serve and impact Enterprises

Superside, the always-on design SaaS company, recently announced a new funding round along with a rebrand (they used to be called Konsus) to further develop and scale their fast-growing business.

They deliver design at scale to Enterprise teams — from everyday production design work to large-scale strategic design solutions. By combining design workflow technology with verified top talent, an instant, and fully-managed process, Superside makes getting good design done completely hassle-free for their customers, who are often Marketing, Creative or Product Design teams within Enterprises.

Superside serves such an important need and has imagined how to do better design at scale. In many cases, Superside acts as an extension to an in-house team, while for other customers they are the de facto design team, which is often the case with funded startups that are unable to hire fast enough.

Alliance Venture is proud to participate in the investor syndicate backing this exceptional company and team lead by Fredrik Thomassen and his co-founders, and we are very excited about the investment on multiple levels.

Great fundamentals

First of all, we like the fundamentals. The founding team is hugely talented and has built a differentiated service that customers love. We are very impressed by the company’s progress from entering Y Combinator and launching an MVP a couple of years ago until today. Superside acquires and serves both enterprise customers and top design talent utilizing a fully automated and scalable platform delivering consistent results fast and with quality. Both the platform and business model have been stress-tested, and we are confident that the company has built a solid foundation for continued growth.

They have grown 2x year over year and 4x in terms of their subscription revenue. Furthermore, they have been able to attract and build a stellar leadership team with new additions Amrita Mathur leading Marketing and Chris Long leading Product Management, who are both joining long-time Sales leader Paal Stokkelien in forming their Growth team.

Riding trends to a big opportunity

At the same time, we are excited about more than the company fundamentals. Building a great company is often helped by favorable market trends, and Superside is riding a number of mega-trends.

(i) One key trend is globalization — a powerful economic force over the last 50 years — by serving customers in multiple markets with a distributed talent base.

(ii) Superside further has a clear and strong perspective on the “future of work”, where current dynamics around flexible and remote working, freelancing, outsourcing, and digital nomads will continue to play out. According to a McKinsey report, the independent workforce now makes up 20–30% of the working-age population in the US and EU, and 15% of these workers have used a digital platform. Both the number of independent workers and digital platform utilization show robust growth.

(iii) Superside is a player in the B2B ‘Human Cloud’ i.e. delivery of business services online by humans. Today this is a single-digit BUSD market, widely believed to become a triple-digit BUSD market opportunity in the future. Digital platforms are still significantly under-utilized in this segment of the market, as the McKinsey Data shows. The potential is huge, and a winner in the B2B Human Cloud market will be a massive company. We’ve placed our bet.

Data on independent workers and digital platform utilization (Source: McKinsey, Independent work: Choice, necessity, and the gig economy)

Positive impact

Finally, and possibly the most exciting angle to Superside, is the opportunity the service brings to great talent around the world. For those of us based in Oslo, Norway or Silicon Valley it is easy to think that there is an abundance of opportunity for talented individuals everywhere, that high caliber resources are always in demand, and that premium compensation is the norm. It is important to recognize that despite globalization, opportunity is not abundant outside the major economic hotspots. What about talent in Sofia, Bulgaria, Mendoza, Argentina, or Akron, Ohio? Not only is access to opportunity an issue, so is compensation relative to value and contribution. Data shows that remote and flexible work is most attractive for women and Millennials.

Superside is on a mission to help build an online labor market and create equal economic opportunity for everyone in the world. On average, Superside designers are paid three times more than the hourly wage of the local market they live in and are guaranteed payment. The majority of designers are women. For Enterprises, the service helps facilitate access to talent, which is a current and major pain point. Since the delivery model does not involve migration, at scale Superside can potentially help provide significant benefits to local communities around the world, and the training and productivity capabilities provided by the company adds further value in this respect.

From a basic investment perspective, the inefficiency in the talent market is an arbitrage opportunity that can be leveraged for profit. Thus, providing talent in less prosperous locations access to opportunities in more prosperous markets through the Superside platform is a true win-win opportunity, where the benefit is shared between all stakeholders — talent, customers, local communities, company, and investors. We firmly believe that this is an opportunity to impact and “make the world a better place” with a strong ROI. What could possibly be better?

Alliance Venture

We invest in Nordic startups with global ambitions

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