No-code tool Next Matter lands $16 million to automate business processes – TechCrunch
Next Matter, a workflow automation platform for business operations, today closed a $16 million Series A funding round led by OMERS Ventures with participation from BlueYard and Crane Venture. The proceeds will be used to expand the team from 15 to 75, according to CEO Jan Hugenroth, with a particular focus on the United States and Europe. (Next Matter is headquartered in Berlin.)
Hugenroth sees businesses facing several key challenges in the current economic climate. Operational excellence is becoming unavoidable, he says; COOs use “duct tape” solutions to streamline workflows; and operations are changing rapidly, leaving companies’ technology stacks in the dust. Hugenroth founded Next Matter to address this by replacing the patchwork of spreadsheets, email, expensive custom apps and chat clients used by many businesses with a platform that connects different tools (e.g. HubSpot, Slack and Zapier) to – in theory – simplify various processes.
“While growing at all costs without overly focusing on operational efficiency and excellence has been the ‘normal’ mode of operation for the past decade, we are entering a ‘new normal,'” Hugenroth told TechCrunch. by email. “Operations are unique in every business, so an appropriate solution to solve a business’ operating problems must be unique to each business’s unique circumstances… In the absence of an appropriate solution that is quick and easy to adapt, companies are constantly catching up and dealing with constantly outdated procedure documentation and lots of necessary corrections and error manipulation when things don’t work, resulting in a lot of manual work.
From Next Matter’s mobile and web apps, users can drag and drop modules to build and automate workflows, forms, and processes from scratch or using pre-built templates. For example, a customer might deploy a “Vendor Onboarding” workflow with steps such as “Finalize Contract Terms,” “Create Legal Documents,” “Upload Documents to Google Drive,” and “Prepare Dealing Sessions.” training” – assigning each step to one or more employees. and linking them to apps like Google Sheets, Dropbox, and Salesforce. Automation features allow users to send data to and from systems and trigger processes based on system events, while managers get project and task tracking metrics including speed and cost .
Business process automation is a booming industry and countless vendors are vying for a spot at the top. Next Matter not only competes with integration platforms like Zapier and Make (formerly Integromat), but also low-code app builders like Bubble and Retool, as well as workflow software like Kissflow, Pipefy and ProcessStreet.
But Hugenroth argues that the competition just isn’t as holistic as Next Matter’s platform.
“What sets Next Matter apart from other tools such as workflow, onboarding, or task management software is that it combines all of these elements into one purpose-built platform for operations,” said Hughenroth. “For example, Next Matter’s client Carvolution provides car rental services, which requires a series of operational steps involving different people, teams, systems and external parties before a contract can be signed and you can leave. Next Matter means the entire process can be automated and orchestrated, reducing countless emails and tools to streamline back-office processes as well as critical customer-facing processes, improving both efficiency and customer experience.
In another attempt to stand out from the crowd, Next Matter offers consulting services in combination with its software product. Customers benefit from an “Operations Expert” who helps identify process automation opportunities, supports integration, and assists with change management.
“Our investments so far have allowed us to build a strong competitive alternative to more generic software products that are not specifically designed for operations and only solve parts of what is needed,” Hugenroth continued. “For CIOs and CTOs, this means they can free up product and software development resources allocated for developing custom solutions to run operations in other areas, reduce the number of legacy custom operations solutions which require continuous maintenance, … [and] create a central source of truth for business operational data that can be leveraged to guide operational improvement programs and decision making. »
Trade Republic, Spreetail and Shift.com are among Next Matter’s clients, along with other brands in financial services, insurance and e-commerce. According to Hugenroth, the plan is to expand into new industries “that have similar requirements for operational excellence.”
The question is whether the process automation industry has reached saturation point. Some segments, like robotic process automation (RPA), seem to have – a recent report from Forrester Research predicts that demand for RPA will begin to flatten as enterprises move to broader automation solutions. But Hugenroth is optimistic.
“We anticipate that the current economic environment and impending recession will make operational excellence not just a ‘nice to have’, but a ‘must have’ for scale-ups as well as enterprises to succeed,” said Hugenroth. . “We are already seeing growing demand for the implementation of Next Matter with the most dynamic companies responding quickly to looming challenges and we expect to see an increasing number of large-scale operations transformation programs being executed. on Next Matter, as companies aim to grow further without adding more resources or needing to cut costs to reach profitability faster.”
Next Matter’s five-year-old total so far stands at $20 million.