Startup Corner: Autto in focus

Founded in 2016 in London, Autto is a cloud-based SaaS toolkit that enables legal and compliance departments to build up automated workflows. Here, we hand over the stage to them to tell us more about the company.

How would you describe your company to a friend?

Autto is software that enables businesses to quickly and cost-effectively automate the repetitive aspects of their processes.  It is designed for use by in legal and compliance departments.  Legal and ‘Legal-ish’ workflows (drafting, reporting, compliance, approvals, guidance, and all sorts of others) currently use highly-qualified and expensive people to do repetitive work where their skills and experience add little value.  Typically, this repetitive work will be 20-50% of a lawyer or regulated person’s time. Automation saves time and money, standardises processes and reduces error.  It also means professionals get to spend less time doing the dull process and more time adding value to their clients.

And if you had to describe it to a techy?

Autto is a cloud-based SaaS toolkit that enables you to build up automated workflows. breaks processes down into information gathering, conditions and different types of actions (automated document production, automated e-mails, task allocation, dynamic content pages and so on).   Each of these ‘building blocks’ can be configured to fit the needs of an individual process and then linked up to form a workflow.   Conditions implement Boolean logic based on the information gathered to provide a branching workflow that has different outcomes based on the information processed.  Rather like Lego can make lots of different models, with Autto you can take these simple building blocks and build them up into multiple complex workflows.

When were you founded?

April 2016.

By who?

Max Cole is a former solicitor (Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Mischcon de Reya) and currently a practising barrister.  Ian Gosling is a product manager and former VC with a background in the TMT sector.

Who are your key managers/senior execs?

In addition to Max and Ian we greatly benefit from the advice of Sean Phelan – a highly successful and award winning technology entrepreneur who is now a seasoned Angel Investor.

What is your growth strategy?

Traditionally workflow automation has been targeted on a small number of very complex highly processes.  Autto is targeted at the easy automation of lots of shorter, client or matter specific processes that hitherto it has been too expensive to automate. We think this better suits the workflows of lots of professional services and regulated industries.

Have you received investment?

No.  We plan to raise investment in 2017.

Who are your target clients?

Legal and compliance departments in companies (particularly in regulated industries), law firms, charities and government bodies.

Have there been any key changes in direction since you were founded?

No.  But we base our product roadmap on what our clients are asking for and what they prioritise is often not what we expect.

What are the key challenges you face in your market?

Professional services businesses want to innovate but culturally they are risk averse industries.

What are the most exciting developments you’ve seen in your market in the past year to 18 months?

We think 2016 saw a sea change in attitude within the legal industry around technology.  Rather than simply talk about it we have seen many law firms move more to the front foot in engaging with companies like Autto.

Tell us something that people don’t already know about the company?

We are a geographically neutral company.   We work ‘virtually’ at long distance with both our customers and colleagues.