Waterspring Ventures and The Development Bank of Wales announce investment into Operati Limited

Business planning and strategy
Growing a business
Tech startups
Business technology

Waterspring Ventures, an award-winning early-stage venture capital firm based in Wales, today announces its first investment into Operati Limited, which has built the first Software as a Service (SaaS) estimating solution of its kind for the SME market.

Waterspring Ventures is investing £280k of its first tranche into the business. It has partnered with The Development Bank of Wales for the deal, which is investing £150k from the Technology Seed Fund, whilst the founders of Operati Limited have also invested £50k.

Operati’s mission to help manufacturing SMEs

Small and medium-sized businesses that make ‘install-to-order’ or ‘make-to-order’ products struggle to configure and estimate complex products, plan and manage production, and effectively capture costs and profit due to products’ bespoke nature.

Currently, the software solutions that exist to streamline this process are not affordable for small businesses that do not have the budget or time to implement a business-wide software package. Smaller ‘SME’ focused solutions also tend to focus entirely on repeatable production, rather than bespoke products. Those specialising in the business's niche areas can lead to data duplication and a lack of visibility for decision-makers.

David James, CEO, Operati Limited discusses the investment: “Our mission at Operati is to offer a completely new approach, creating the first SaaS estimating solution of its kind on the SME market. With a cloud-based end-to-end system built from the ground up specifically for bespoke products and projects, our focus is entirely on meeting customers’ needs. We are providing the industry with a much-needed all-in-one estimating and quoting solution, giving access to the latest sales intelligence technology to help SMEs boost their businesses.”

Sam Huxtable, Founder and Managing Partner, Waterspring Ventures says: “We established Waterspring Ventures in 2021 with the mission to address the acute shortfall of funding available for early-stage UK companies, especially businesses in Wales and the South West.

“As a Newport-based company operating in the High Value Manufacturing space, Operati really fitted the bill for our first investment. The company knows exactly what problem it needs to solve in the manufacturing industry – and it’s one that our Partners, who have over 25 years of experience in the sector, know all too well. We are excited to work alongside the team and to see the business develop in the coming months.”

Matthew Wilde, Investment Executive at the Development Bank of Wales says: “We are incredibly pleased to have joined Waterspring in making this investment into Operati – they’re a fantastic example of a Welsh tech venture making huge, innovative strides and providing the bespoke systems and intelligence which SMEs need.

“We were confident in the expertise and potential in the team at Operati, having invested in their former company Hudman in the summer of 2016. We’re delighted to see them progress into a new venture, and were especially pleased to take advantage of the opportunity to work alongside Waterspring Ventures when backing them.”