AppFactor – Startup Spotlight
UK-based cloud technology company AppFactor is accelerating the transformation of apps for enterprises as digitization pressures the industry to modernize its infrastructure.
AppFactor is focused on providing a centralised modernization platform that supports the journey that enterprises are undertaking now or are about to as part of their digital and cloud transformations. They help enterprises assess, modernize, rearchitect and refactor existing legacy apps with automation, but also assist them in operating apps in modern forms using modern app infrastructure.
The X Factor in AppFactor
AppFactor is comprised of a team with a great deal of relevant experience in the field that the startup is aiming to disrupt, which has helped lead to significant market traction and success with the likes of AWS and Microsoft. On the product side, AppFactor is addressing app modernization from a very differentiated angle.
Founder & CEO Keith Neilson shared that they have an exciting and comprehensive roadmap that features IP that differentiates AppFactor’s solution from competitors and the traditional approach of adopting cloud-native technologies.
“There isn’t a solution out there that looks to help manage and deliver continuous modernization with a data-driven approach, and there isn’t a solution that refactors complex monolithic applications into a modern form using automation,” Neilson added.
With its unique market offering, AppFactor has already hit milestones despite being a very early-stage venture. Institutional investors are already recognizing AppFactor’s ideology, capabilities and ambitions, including Fuel Ventures, a leading UK-based EIS Fund investing in ambitious tech companies. They have also found a design partner in Civica, which will jointly allow them to gain robust measures on early product feedback and access to collaborative customer engagements for early traction.
A Balancing Act
AppFactor is certainly off to a good start, but setting up the business and achieving these milestones had its challenges. All co-founders have had other roles upon starting AppFactor, affecting time spent and how public they can be in pursuing the business. Finding suitable investors that share the same passion has also been an arduous journey.
With a technical product aiming to solve technical challenges, it can be difficult to attract investors and partners. “One challenge for us has been trying to strike a balance on how we articulate and pitch AppFactor in a way that appeases both a technical audience and investors that are not necessarily aware of the pain in the market or the technical aspects,” Neilson shared.
The key here is accentuating the value and how their product works. For AppFactor, they simplify it as delivering significant business value through accelerating digital transformation and cloud transformation. Making it easier to understand is half of the battle. Now they have to get their message across to the right investors.
The major challenge of bringing this investment opportunity to light and into the arena is what drove AppFactor to Floww. The founder shared appreciation for how Floww allows them to connect with investment institutions centrally and to track and engage them with their pitch and financial information.
Sharing Startup Success
AppFactor has also been gracefully managing road bumps that all entrepreneurs go through, like raising funds, understanding the mechanics and terminologies, carrying out roles and functions – the whole spectrum!
“Until you take the dive yourself and experience some of these challenges first-hand, you realise there is a lot to take on in addition to building out the business,” Neilson challenged.
He also emphasized the importance of having faith in the whole team’s entrepreneurial goals and skills to work through all the demands of building a start-up. His advice is, “Have unwavering belief in yourself and your team. You will have setbacks and challenges, but they are just that. With belief, you can keep going and overcome them”.
What’s in store for AppFactor?
For 2022, AppFactor is focused on attracting more investors. There are also plans to expand overall operational capabilities to support their growth. Of course, they are also eyeing credible and compelling customer proof points that will provide AppFactor with the footing to propel and accelerate more growth in the following year.
Neilson shared that the company has high revenue aspirational goals. They know the problem they are looking to solve is immensely large. But they also know they are unique in the space as currently, no other startup is operating towards an IPO in this space. This is where AppFactor’s vision is set. To get there, they aim to be customer-centric and results-driven.