Quali, the Austin, Texas-based infrastructure automation company, has recently completed a $54m round of new funding which its CEO Lior Koriat says will fuel further growth in business with financial firms. Quali’s platform is designed to speed up digital transformation by providing app development and test environments on-demand, and the company says it has seen record business over the past year.
Quali's latest funding round has been co-ed by Greenfield Partners and Jerusalem Venture Partners. In addition to continued investment support from Kreos Capital, the round also introduced a fund managed by Hamilton Lane as a new investor.
"The COVID pandemic has brought more customers to Quali, and we now want to double the rate of growth we've achieved so far," said Lior Koriat, Quali's CEO in an interview with QA Financial. "We'll be using the funds to increase our investment in engineering, to keep our technology edge, and to develop our account management resources and our marketing resources."
According to Koriat, Quali's business edge lies in: "Streamlining the complexity of the infrastructure required for automation." While financial regulators around the world have increasingly encouraged financial firms to move their software development and data management to the Cloud, many firms are finding that the pace at which they adopt DevOps and move to continuous app delivery is constrained by the complexity of their infrastructures.
"Demand for what we do comes from the simple need for firms to accelerate engineering," Koriat explained. "The challenge they face is that this acceleration is becoming more complicated to achieve, because of the choices those firms have to make between the public and private Cloud, for example, and because of the technical challenges that come with technologies such as containerization and the constant requirements of security. And with larger firms, the issue is also that decisions have to be made not by only by infrastructure experts but by the business managers."
Quali's addresses these challenges in automation at the level of the environment for development and testing, said Koriat. "What our technology does is spin up the environment for a specific purpose, connecting the infrastructure to the data it needs."
Winning new business from financial firms will continue be a priority for Quali, Koriat added. "The problem exists all around; for telcos, for retailers and so on. But for us there will be an emphasis on financial services firms because we believe we understand the complexity of the challenge they face, from the CIO down, and especially because the push to the Cloud is being encouraged by financial regulators."
Koriat believes Quali has the potential to become a far larger business, and he doesn't rule out a merger or acquisition at some point. Just not yet. "There is consolidation in our marketplace and you are seeing some technology companies building a stack [through mergers and acquisitions] that addresses the needs of the full package, or value stream, of DevOps," Koriat said. " But right now we've got a lot of work to do on organic growth and that is going to be our focus through 2022."
However, Quali may well be looking for strategic partnerships that reinforce its core offering, Koriat said. In particular, new alliances with in data management and machine learning specialists will be considered, he said.