Dell Technologies Capital Leads $29M Series B into Orion Labs

Orion Labs is on a mission to bring Slack-like productivity to deskless workers through a heads up voice workflow platform.

Orion Labs is on a mission to bring Slack-like productivity to deskless workers through a heads up voice workflow platform.

Today I am excited to announce that Dell Technologies Capital (DTC) has lead the $29M Series B into Orion Labs. Participating in the round is WRVI and insiders including Avalon Ventures, Argentum Capital Partners, Allen and Company, Mathers Associates, and In-Q-Tel. This marks DTC’s first Future of Work and voice investment. I have joined Orion Labs’ board of directors.

I recall how incredible the team that founder Jesse Robbins had assembled in 2013 when both our companies (I was then CEO @ Codenvy) were working out of Heavybit. They had commandeered large portions of the floor engineering technology that looked like science fiction straight out of Star Trek. They were digitizing legacy Push2Talk technology to disrupt the $5B business of expensive radios still sold by Motorola today.

When Jesse, Greg Albrecht (another founder and company’s CTO) and Greg Taylor (a growth software executive who joined in 2019 and is now the company’s CEO) approached Dell Technologies Capital last summer about a potential fundraising round, I admittedly didn’t think there was much potential for digital communications in an era where we are all bound to our mobile devices. What could the value be?

The Deskless Workforce

There are 2.7 billion workers that are deskless. Deskless workers are in retail, hospitality, construction, oil and gas, construction, and agriculture. These industries are at the earliest stages of their digital transformation. While field workers sometimes have access to ruggedized or specialty devices that grant Internet and mobility-like access to digital services and apps, those form factors are often clunky and don’t work to alter the productivity curve of workers.

Field workers have not been blessed with a group communication system that integrates end users, employees, and intelligent bots that can integrate with your work tools.

Employers are investing in deskless technology to improve employee productivity, employee experience, drive cost savings, and improve the customer experience.

Early adopters of voice future of work technology are in transportation, manufacturing and retail.

Orion Labs is an Intelligent Voice Work Platform

When we think of Push2Talk, the Star Trek communicator is imagined. It’s not far from the truth. Orion Labs alters the productivity of field workers by offering a voice workflow system that enables individuals and teams to communicate with each other, bots, and their IT systems through a heads-up voice mechanism. It:

  1. Works over your existing mobile phone, tablets, or any number of specialty-designed devices by partners (LIST).

  2. Creates secure group and 1:1 communications over LTE, wifi, or any number of protocols — — groups can be located anywhere in the world.

  3. Enables heads-up communication with a collar-attached speaker + microphone that uses Bluetooth Low Energy to bridge into any enabling device (in your pocket, attached to hip).

  4. Allows for full duplex, real-time group communications with latency so low everyone feels like they are next to each other.

  5. Layers in a customizable enterprise workflow system that enables each customer to define voice-driven workflows, such as when a global mining company customer used Orion Labs to automate compliance checks between a bot and a human on each entrance into a mine.

  6. Adds location-awareness and geo-fencing meta data to the digitized communications, so bots, dispatchers, and team mates can interact based upon geo-events and metadata.

  7. Adds third-party bots that unlock additional capabilities in real-time, such as language translation, sentiment analysis (‘Boy, bob, you sound really stressed today! Maybe you shouldn’t go into the mine.’), or interacting with back-office IT systems (for voice-engagement with inventory, IT, email, and desk-bound communications tools).

The Orion Labs Onyx device attaches to your collar, bluetooth connects to any device and offers full duplex microphone, speaker, and all day battery.

Orion Labs is Growing

I’m looking forward to helping the company shape its future and to be a contributing board member.

We are hiring. If being part of a company that is helping the world envision a better way of working (not to mention seeing the utter joy in how our customers react to Orion Labs), please write to me at tyler.jewell@dell.com. I’ll introduce you to the right people within Orion Labs.