YFM Equity Partners’ £5m investment in AutomatePro
AutomatePro, a cloud-based intelligent test automation and DevOps software provider, has received a £5 million investment from YFM Equity Partners (YFM) via its British Smaller Companies VCTs.
AutomatePro’s patented software is aimed at removing mundane and repetitive tasks from development teams, ensuring software remains up to date and runs efficiently. The software is particularly useful for companies operating in heavily regulated industries, including financial services and pharmaceuticals, enabling them to maintain robust, compliant documentation and adhere to strict quality control and audit standards.
YFM’s investment will fund AutomatePro’s sales, marketing and customer success functions, develop new product modules, and help the business expand into the US to meet the growing demand from ServiceNow’s existing ecosystem.
The YFM team consisted of Roshan Puri, Ben Pitt and Jamie Roberts. The AutomatePro team included Paul Chorley, Wayne Devonald, Steven Zhang, Martijn Leentjes, Andy Cooke and Dan Ellis.
Advisers to YFM on the investment included Irwin Mitchell (legal), Pegafund (financial due diligence), Confidas People (organisational due diligence), Sales Blueprint (commercial due diligence), Code&Co (technical due diligence), DTE Group (tax due diligence) and Philip Hare & Associates (VCT advice). Advisers to AutomatePro included K&L Gates (legal) and Mountside Ventures (corporate finance).
Q&A with Jonathan Hollis
As the Managing Partner at Mountside Ventures, Jonathan Hollis works with early-stage companies looking to raise their next round of funding and helping them increase their chances of getting funded. He qualified with PwC as a Chartered Accountant (ACA) and co-founded their early-stage corporate finance practice, and Series A accelerator, whose alumni have raised over £500m with a combined valuation of £3bn, before leaving the firm three years ago to set up Mountside.
What do you love about AutomatePro?
- Automation — we love automation! Large complex organisations continue to run thousands of time-consuming repetitive manual tasks unnecessarily. AutomatePro uses AI to automate regression testing, which improves job satisfaction of IT teams, keeps software up to date, and helps C-level executives deliver better ROI. They’re able to save large organisations over £100k through automating regression testing and reducing the resource requirements involved, by up to 86%.
- Experienced team — they’ve got an all-star team of practical leaders with deep domain experience delivering complicated IT solutions to global corporations.
- Compelling partnerships — they have built their product on top of the infrastructure of a leading software company, ServiceNow, helping them with testing their SaaS platform. The ServiceNow ecosystem is large enough in itself to build a huge business, but this is just the start.
Tell us more about the round.
The team received plenty of interest from UK investors and chose YFM to lead their £5m round. YFM have previously invested in the DevOps space through investments in Quality Clouds and Plandek, and so are well placed to understand their thesis and bolster the team’s expertise.
How do you work with companies?
We partner with the most ambitious entrepreneurs raising their next round of funding, minimising the disruption to their business. We do this by helping them get investor-ready, introducing them to relevant investors and supporting them in closing their round with terms that are right for them.
This is what we did with AutomatePro.
What’s your advice to other founders?
The fundraising environment is particularly challenging at the moment so it’s important to ensure you are absolutely ready before going into a funding round. You should ensure you have a fit-for-purpose pitch deck, a five-year financial model, a strong investor FAQ and a completed data room.
“As technical founders, we needed trusted experts to help guide us through the institutional investment process, which was completely new to us. The Mountside teams’ experience and expertise in all aspects of the investment process, in everything from preparation through to negotiating heads of terms, was invaluable and always delivered in a friendly and professional way.”
– Paul Chorley, Co-Founder, and CEO of AutomatePro