Squint Emerges From Menlo Labs With Funding From Sequoia and an Impressive Roster of Customers
Today, Squint, developer of an AR platform that provides a rich data layer informing users as they interact with the world around them, revealed an impressive roster of customers that includes Volvo and Siemens, and announced $6 million in seed and pre-seed funding from Sequoia Arc, Menlo Ventures, and Menlo Labs. We want to take a moment to congratulate Devin and the team at Squint on raising this funding round. It feels like an important milestone for the team at Menlo Labs, who began working with Devin in November 2021 to help make his business concept a reality.
Squint’s Introduction to Menlo Labs
We first met Squint founder Devin Bhushan in August 2021 through our partner, Tim Tully. As the leader of AR development for Splunk, Devin spent several years building AR solutions when he had an insight: AR could be “a browser for the physical world.” He saw an opportunity to push further with a platform approach to creating and publishing AR content. We loved that vision! Three months after we met, we funded Squint and Devin began working with Menlo Labs.
Refining the Vision: The Validation Process
Devin’s platform vision was bold. But it was also broad. There were many paths Squint could take; the first step would be deciding where to start and what to build first. Devin entered a validation process designed to refine the concept and identify potential target markets. He worked closely with our team to explore dozens of possible applications for Squint—assessing and scoring each potential vertical and use case. Devin spent hours every week with the Menlo Labs team, talking to potential customers and getting feedback on early prototypes (one of which became Squint’s first customer), using the findings to inform both what to build first and a long-term plan. This measured and methodical start allowed Devin to move faster later.
A Ripe Market Revealed
The validation process revealed several potential markets for Squint, but one stood out. Squint’s technology could immediately solve an acute need for a large customer base: manufacturing companies. (While manufacturing might sound niche to some, it’s an incredibly large market. Last year, U.S. manufacturers attracted more than $7 trillion in revenue.) Devin discovered that manufacturers were struggling with high turnover, creating an urgent need to solve this pressing issue. But training methods were outdated and ineffective. Squint’s highly engaging platform could help them train factory operators much faster and more effectively while increasing operator retention. By identifying this ICP (ideal customer profile), Squint could focus its broad vision for the platform on a product for manufacturers.
Things quickly accelerated from there; by the summer of 2022, Squint had expanded its team, built an MVP (minimum viable product), and signed its first customer. Squint was off to the races!
Today, Squint is a real business on a sharp trajectory. It’s unusual for a seed-stage company to attract large global customers like the Volvo Group and Siemens. However, that’s precisely what Devin and the Squint team have done because their platform solves an urgent need for the market.
Squint uses AR to power an intuitive mobile platform for factory operators who need dynamic, contextual help mapped to the world around them. The platform brings the shop floor binder, full of instructions, to life, providing operators with an interactive experience that is engaging and effective while increasing learning speed and knowledge retention. With these capabilities, Squint enables organizations to digitize standard operating procedures using just a mobile phone, with no hassle and no IT team required, making everyday tasks like training, operation, and maintenance faster and safer.
The flexibility of the Squint platform is a selling point for customers. Squint offers the only AR solution that is truly “open world,” meaning that content can be created anywhere, on the spot, without needing a QR code or a 3D model to detect objects and orient itself. Implementation with Squint is simple and self-serve, offering the fastest time-to-value in the manufacturing technology sector.
Proud Partners Who Are Deeply Invested
It’s been an honor to work closely with Devin as Squint has taken shape. Devin is a visionary founder who recruited an incredible team and built an impressive business that accelerated quickly out of the gate. It’s been impressive to see them create so much momentum so quickly.
Although this business acceleration is what we envisioned when we first designed Menlo Labs, it’s been exciting to witness it playing out with Squint. We designed Menlo Labs to give founders the deep resources, tools, and foundation they need to bring their vision to life and help them scale.
Building With Menlo Labs
If you are someone who, like Devin, has always dreamed of building a business, we hope you will consider building with Menlo Labs. Some of the benefits of building with Menlo Labs include:
- Full pre-seed funding, with paychecks on day one and financing to get to the next round
- Validation process to identify an opportunity worthy of pursuit, with a feasible solution and viable economics, enabling rapid execution out of the gate
- Talent placement identifying and matching co-founders, assistance in building the early team, and plan for future scaling
- Expert advice from veteran builders, functional experts, and investors with a history of success
- Startup ops (accounting, payroll, benefits, and more) with minimal time and effort
- Community of peer founders and access to our network of investors, operators, and experts across the Menlo Ventures ecosystem