Ultranauts Inc (formerly ULTRA Testing), a quality engineering startup employing talent on the autism spectrum, announced the closing of $3.5M in Series A financing today.
SustainVC and The Disability Opportunity Fund led the round, joined by a diverse group of impact investors including The Libra Foundation (investment facilitated by Candide Group), Social Venture Network, Wasabi Ventures, Moai Capital (run by Emergence Capital Founder Brian Jacobs), Cognizant Vice Chairman Frank D’Souza, Bain & Company Chief Talent Officer Russ Hagey, and advocate & philanthropist Lisa Yang.
“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.”
Founded in 2013 by MIT engineers Rajesh Anandan and Arthur Shectman, Ultranauts has been on a mission to prove that neurodiversity, including autism, is a competitive advantage in business. The company 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.
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.
The Series A funding will be deployed 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. R&D will focus on developing specialized services to improve data quality in highly regulated and rapidly evolving industries, and training will focus on compressing the timeframe for exceptional neurodiverse talent to develop into high performing quality engineering teams.
“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.”
Founded in 2013 by two MIT engineers, Ultranauts Inc (formerly ULTRA Testing) is a software and data quality engineering startup on a mission to prove that neurodiversity, including autism, is a competitive advantage in business. The company provides a full suite of software and data quality assurance and quality engineering services to Fortune 500 and startup clients, and has built the world’s first fully remote workplace for neurodiverse talent. Ultranauts has been named a Fast Company World Changing Idea, Interbrand Breakthrough Brand and MIT SOLVE Challenge Winner.
For more information, visit ultranauts.co