25 October 2022
YFM Equity Partners (YFM) have led a £5m Series A investment into Manchester-based digital contracting business, Summize.
The funding was raised through YFM’s British Smaller Companies VCTs and the Maven VCTs, as Summize looks to build its presence in the US and further develop its Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) technology.
Founded in 2018, Summize has experienced rapid growth by taking a disruptive approach to a traditional sector. It has developed an intelligent SaaS digital contracting solution that aims to digitize and modernise the contract life cycle by integrating directly within established communication platforms such as Teams and Slack.
The software is uniquely designed to make contract workflow smarter and faster by improving collaboration between legal and business users. Its blue-chip client base includes Fujifilm, Vodafone, NCC Group and MoonPig.
Tom Dunlop, co-founder and CEO at Summize, said: “Summize aims to drive greater value from business contracts by speeding up and automating the end-to-end process from creating a contract through to analytics and summaries. Unlike many of our competitors, our system integrates directly with existing collaboration tools, which is vital for adoption across the business.
“YFM and Maven bring a strong combination of support and experience as we push towards the next level of growth. Their passion to be involved in our plans resonated – they were excited by the business, the market opportunity and our product. We were also confident that with a strong tech portfolio, there is a proven track record in the sector as well as extensive experience of supporting the growth of later stage businesses.
“This funding will enable us to build out our sales and marketing capabilities and accelerate expansion with a presence in the US which is a huge potential market for us. We will also continue scaling what we have already built with further product development and innovation – we have a clearly defined target market and products with the functionality to meet a very real business need.”
Mike Clarke, investment partner at YFM, said: “Summize are deliberately different and we like their disruptive approach. They have developed a really effective solution to help drive legal departments and processes on the digital journey, and one which is attractive to users as it operates as an extension of existing ways of working. The efficiency benefits are quickly apparent to clients with estimates that users of the platform save 85 per cent of time spent reviewing contracts.
“Summize also benefits from having a very experienced senior management team for this stage of the business, and a clear vision of where they are going. We are excited to be supporting them as they continue on their growth journey.”
The YFM investment team comprised Laura Sisson, Mike Clarke and Ian Waterfield.
Advisers on the deal included: Graph Strategy (James Tetherton and Matt Harrison); James Bagan; Chris Waterhouse, BHP (Fletcher Adamowicz); David Gallimore; Vista (Peter Warburton and Daniel Blake); Shoosmiths (James Foster and Sophie Davies); Catalysis (Mike Hicks); Philip Hare & Associates (Philip Hare and Tom Hopley); and Pannone (Mark Winthorpe and Miranda Foy).
Picture shows (L to R): Tom Dunlop, Summize, Laura Sisson and Mike Clarke (YFM)