Software testing startup Ultranauts secures $3.5m in Series A funding to accelerate growth
Ultranauts (formerly ULTRA Testing), a software testing startup employing talent on the autism spectrum has closed $3.5 million in Series A funding to accelerate the company’s growth and impact, including investments in R&D, training and sales to aid the company’s further expansion into data quality engineering. The round was led by SustainVC and The Disability Opportunity Fund led the round, with participation from a diverse group of impact investors including The Libra Foundation and others.
Founded in 2013 by MIT engineers Rajesh Anandan and Arthur Shectman, the New York based Ultranauts has been on a mission to prove that neurodiversity, including autism, is a competitive advantage in business. Ultranauts competitive advantage comes from employing high functioning individuals on the Autism Spectrum, who can have heightened abilities that are an exact match for software testing – e.g. pattern recognition, focus, attention to detail, tolerance for repetition.
The startup provides a full suite of software and data quality engineering services to Fortune 500 and startup clients, and has built the world’s first fully remote workplace for neurodiverse talent. Today, there are Ultranauts working in 20 states across the U.S., 75% of whom are on the autism spectrum, and many of whom have heightened abilities that are a perfect match for quality engineering – e.g. focus, pattern recognition, logical reasoning, systems thinking.
“We are beyond thrilled to have led this round for Ultranauts,” said Eric Chapman, General Principal at impact investing firm, SustainVC. “The management team is driven, the talent pool is exceptional, and the mission is inspiring. Ultranauts has completely reimagined how a company hires, manages and develops talent, all while outcompeting global IT firms. It’s a rare feat and we’re excited to help this team grow.”
Ultranauts has grown over 50% annually since its founding and is accelerating, exceeding 70% YOY growth in Q4 2018 and 100% YOY growth in Q1 2019. Fueling this growth has been Ultranauts’ exceptional neurodiverse team, inclusive business practices and specialized quality services including UI and API test automation, data and analytics hygiene and accuracy, and web and app accessibility. The company is proving the advantage of its business model, and when benchmarked, it has delivered dramatically superior results for clients. One Ultranauts team outperformed IBM and discovered 56% more defects for a Fortune 100 financial services firm. Another displaced CapGemini at an insurtech startup and increased test coverage by an order of magnitude.
“While big data, ML and AI represent tremendous opportunities to drive value across the enterprise, they also create complex challenges and hidden risks,” said Ultranauts CEO Rajesh Anandan. “Ensuring the quality and compliance of today’s products and platforms requires a combination of exceptional talent and cutting edge tools, which the Ultranauts team is uniquely suited for. With this round of funding, we’re excited to expand our capabilities in data quality engineering to drive the growth of our business, and share our learnings vis-a-vis managing neurodiverse teams with other employers to multiply our social impact.”