2022 is off to a flying start with our second lead investment of the calendar year. Flowingly’s $4.5m Pre-Series A round is GD1 Fund 3’s ninth investment and an incredibly promising one.
Flowingly has seized the market opportunity to deliver a truly no-code platform that empowers mid-market business customers to drive process excellence through workflow mapping and automation. Using Flowingly, any person or team can customise and automate their workflows and process maps in as little as thirty minutes. The result: businesses deliver amazing employee and customer experiences in record time without requiring a team of IT experts to power and support them.
GD1 has spent roughly six months working closely with the Flowingly team with a focus on developing and refining a repeatable go-to-market (GTM) strategy, building on the team’s local and international talent and putting in place an ambitious plan to become Series A ready.
In 2019, Bessemer Venture Partners predicted that the low-code/no-code movement would take off. “Fast-forward only two short years, and we are now fully in the age of democratisation of software development. Companies are moving towards solutions like Zapier and Webflow to free up their engineering/expert resources or to equip their “non-technical” workers with “developer” capabilities.” (Bessemer, State of the Cloud 2021).
As companies engage with more and more software, the opportunity to automate workflows grows exponentially. Automating processes allows businesses to save money and reallocates scarce IT/developer resources to value-adding or client-facing work. In addition to supporting IT skill shortages, low-code/no-code solutions have become an additive component of growth, enabling business functions to support a greater breadth of work, for no change in budget. It's a win-win for employers, employees and clients.
Taking the median of various studies, the market size is forecast to build to circa US$80bn by 2027, and growing at a CAGR of 30%.
After initially targeting small business-sized customers, Flowingly recognised that there was an untapped opportunity to pivot and integrate workflow automation into dynamic and more complex mid-market businesses, underpinned by their various departments and numerous processes and reporting structures. These firms can be large, and tend to either rely heavily on overloaded IT teams or a transformation team for process automation work.
Flowingly honed in on mid-market companies as a largely underserved segment where alternate no-code platforms are not fit-for-purpose; quite often big, clunky legacy solutions; or piecemeal (offering either process mapping or workflow automation) and owned by an IT team or only capable of providing value to specific teams within an organisation. Flowingly aims to solve all of these problems with a complete package that can map processes and automate workflows across a customer's entire organisation without the need to code.
Flowingly is just starting to scratch the surface of a rapidly transitional market opportunity with companies increasingly outgrowing their outdated processes and recognising the need to integrate automated workflow processes.
Flowingly is all about empowering non-technical employees to become ‘citizen developers’. The best person to create a workflow in a particular area of any business is the one closest to that process who understands the intricacies and quirks. This person will generally not have coding experience, and may have limited IT experience altogether. Flowingly's drag and drop process building functionality means anyone can automate their workflows, which is significantly more efficient than relaying the particular business process to an IT or automation department.
Flowingly is capable of creating powerful efficiencies and saving significant amounts of time and resources. It has a simple interface with wide cross functional applicability (within an organisation), addressing impactful workflow use cases – everything from sales approvals and incident reports to hiring and onboarding new employees, CAPEX requests and more. The platform's flexibility easily translates to anything from a simple hiring process with four steps and two departments to a month-long process across an entire firm and dozens of employees.
Flowingly was founded in 2016 by successful serial tech entrepreneur Jon Kalaugher who we consider to be an early New Zealand SaaS pioneer, having founded Naverisk in 2009. We were hugely impressed by Jon’s background and leadership experience not only as an entrepreneur but also in governance, having previously held board positions with Cin7 and AskNicely.
Jon fully bootstrapped Flowingly and built an institutional quality platform. Through Naverisk, he gained deep understanding of the customer pain points around how repetitive workflows are a necessary component of scaling a company. Jon and his team have a clear and relentless obsession for customer experience excellence, which is demonstrated by early product/market fit and underpinned by a global footprint of top tier customers.
I would like to express my sincere appreciation to a very special community of people and firms who were instrumental in making this investment happen:
- This investment round represents the first time that the company will take on external investment and we are delighted that Jon and his team made the decision to select and partner with GD1 on your journey. We very much look forward to repaying your trust.
- Thank you also to GD1’s Operating Partners:
- Heather Gadonniex for your invaluable input into building a quality, sustainable and repeatable GTM strategy.
- Gary Wong for the advice and guidance around structure to invest in.
- We appreciate the support of Icehouse Ventures as a new investor alongside us.
- Thank you also to Tompkins Wake (GD1’s legal counsel) for your support and availability throughout the festive season.
Now, let’s go change the world together!