MSP Automation Software Startup Funding: Rewst Raises $21.5M for RPA
Rewst, which develops a robotic process automation (RPA) software platform for managed service providers (MSPs), has raised $21.5 million in Series A funding led by venture capital firm OpenView. the companies confirmed to ChannelE2E.
Rewst, founded in 2020, is based in Tampa, Florida. CEO and Founder Aharon Chernin previously was CEO of Perch Security, which ConnectWise acquired in 2020. Rewst now has roughly 20 employees, and plans to hire at least 30 additional employees in 2023, Chernin told ChannelE2E.
RPA Software: Purpose Built for MSPs
Most RPA software companies — names like Automation Anywhere and UiPath, among others — have focused on the enterprise market. While popular, those enterprise solutions often require users to learn new coding-types of techniques, and the offerings often lack MSP-centric capabilities.
In stark contrast, Rewst is seeking to make RPA software easily consumable by MSPs and the SMB customers they serve. In a prepared statement about Rewst’s strategy, CEO and Founder Aharon Chernin said:
“Until now, RPA hasn’t been widely adopted in the MSP space due to a lack of multi-tenant support and inadequate integrations into the products that MSPs use. Traditional RPAs require either a ‘go-it-alone’ approach with dedicated and trained staff to manage the product, or engaging a third party. We solved that by building a multi-tenant RPA platform, supported by the industry’s first Robotic Operations Center (ROC).”
Rewst’s software now integrates with more than 30 MSP-oriented software products and platforms. Early automation use cases, according to the company, involve:
- Phishing remediation
- License purchasing and reconciliation
- Billing reconciliation
- Approval processes
Still, Rewst isn’t alone in the next-generation MSP automation market. Other noteworthy players in various MSP software segments include AlertOps, ElectroNeek, HumanizeIT Liongard, Pia, Thread (formerly Chatgenie) and Vonahi Security, among many others.
Interview: Rewst CEO Aharon Chernin
In an email interview with ChannelE2E, Chernin offered more perspectives on Rewst’s business so far.
ChannelE2E: What key learnings did Rewst experience between the earlier funding and this Series A? Was there any key feedback from MSPs that triggered course corrections or new ideas for the RPA platform?
Chernin: We thought we were going to have to come up with the automation ideas. However, MSPs have been creative in identifying new processes to automate. There were the obvious low hanging fruit around tier 1 ticket automation, but what has really fascinated me are the high-hanging fruit automations around items that MSPs aren’t even bothering to open tickets for today.
Instead of always using our ROC service, MSPs have expressed interest in building their own automations. We plan to invest heavily in education to help teach MSPs on how to do that.
We are working with more and more sales leaders within MSPs as they use Rewst automations as a differentiator when selling their services.
ChannelE2E: Are MSPs beginning to understand the RPA term – or are they responding more to more generic terms like service desk automation or workflow automation, etc.?
Chernin: We try not to focus on service desk or ticket automation terms, as it makes our capabilities sound limited (we can do a heck of a lot more than automate ticket processing). RPA, or “process automation” platform – these terms are beginning to catch on. These days we see more folks who have done RPA research prior to speaking with us. However, as with any new technology in the MSP space, we will likely be teaching MSPs about RPA for the next several years.
Why Venture Capital Firm OpenView Invested In Rewst
Describing the investment thesis for Rewst, OpenView Partner Tom Holahan said:
“Rewst is delivering a purpose-built automation platform to MSPs to help them solve some of their most critical business challenges. We’re excited to help Rewst expand their reach and to maximize the impact they’ll have on MSPs and their end customers. Most importantly, we’re excited to partner with Aharon and the rest of the team as they build a category-defining company.”
OpenView is quite familiar with the MSP and IT automation software markets. Earlier OpenView investments included:
- Cloud backup provider Intronis (acquired by Barracuda MSP in 2015);
- network remote monitoring and management (RMM) software provider Auvik (acquired by Great Hill Partners);
- cloud, application and security monitoring platform provider Datadog (IPO); and
- cloud directory service provider Jumpcloud.
Earlier Rewst investors include Florida Funders, MDJ Group, GroTech Ventures, and ConnectWise veterans David Bellini and Adam Slutskin. Rewst’s current valuation was not disclosed.
Disclosure: ChannelE2E Editorial Director Joe Panettieri is a member of Florida Funders, an angel investor network.