*Q&A: Specright CEO Matthew Wright Discusses Series A Raise and More
This Q&A is with Matthew Wright, the founder and CEO of Specright, which raised $8.8 million in a Series A round.
The SaaS company strives to enable its business clients to centrally manage and take action on the specs needed to make, package and sell products. And to collaborate with external suppliers to bring these products to market.
Consumers are demanding more of products today – they need to be sustainable, address new trends and be more affordable, Wright said.
Specright address this by helping companies deliver on what they say they will and keep up with consumer demands by working to eliminate perceived inefficiencies that can bottleneck their supply chains.
Specright is “experiencing tremendous growth,” Wright said.
Here is the Q&A:
OCSN: How many prior companies have you acquired/started and sold?
Wright: I’ve been in the packaging industry for over 20 years both as an executive and owner of a packaging manufacturer. I acquired McDonald Packaging and merged it with Triple A Containers, which then acquired Award Packaging. I then sold these companies to New Indy Containerboard. I continue to be active in the M&A packaging market.
I started Specright in 2014 as the solution to the inefficiencies and problems I experienced firsthand related to low quality – and in many cases a lack of – packaging and product specifications.
OCSN: How did those experiences help create the vision and raise awareness of the need for this new startup?
Wright: In addition to a lack of specification data, I also witnessed major market trends around changing consumer tastes, growth in private label, and a strengthening of retailer influence over packaging in stores. As a result, the complexity of packaging and products grew to a breaking point where a technology solution was needed.
OCSN: How does it benefit your startup to be located here in OC?
Wright: After living in many cities across the country in my work at previous companies, I realized that OC had a lot to offer: a great lifestyle for employees, an atmosphere of innovation and the perfect balance between urban and suburban. As a result, it was only natural to pick OC for Specright’s HQ.
OCSN: How does your company contribute to the overall success of OC’s startup ecosystem?
Wright: We work with investors in OC (Okapi Venture Capital), and are attracting notable attention to the area. We believe that Specright and other OC startups are demonstrating that OC is a startup ecosystem in its own right and is more than an extension of “Silicon Beach,” LA’s tech scene. We’re both attracting new talent and uncovering a great deal of talent in the area, which we believe benefits OC’s startup ecosystem.
OCSN: How much funding have you received and from whom, before this Series A round?
Wright: Before our Series A, we raised $3 million in pre-seed and seed funding.
All investors who participated in seed rounds (also) participated in the Series A: Pritzker Group Venture Capital, (which led the Series A), Okapi Venture Capital, Fika Ventures and Mucker Capital.
OCSN: What, specifically, will these Series A funds be used for?
Wright: This round of funding will enable Specright to accelerate product development, grow the team from 30 to 75 employees by early 2020 and expand operations globally as the leader in (what we call) “specification data management.”
OCSN: Who are your prominent customers?
Wright: Johnson & Johnson, Soylent, Beyond Meat,
OCSN: Any prominent people on your board of advisors?
Wright: Dave Moellenhoff, who is one of the founding members of Salesforce and an OC resident, as well as Jay Singh, the packaging program director at Cal-Poly San Luis Obispo are two notable advisors.
OCSN: Anything else you want to add?
Wright: During the course of my career, I noticed that talented people at companies often spent more time chasing data instead of creating the next great product. As a society, we have a lot to gain by giving these people back time to focus on innovation and outcomes that matter. We can’t wait to see what Specright will enable them to do.