By Scott Wright

AUTOREK, the Glasgow-based fintech company, has signalled plans to expand internationally and step up its product development plans after securing a “significant growth equity investment”.

Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) has made the undisclosed investment amid growing demand for AutoRek’s cloud-based financial reporting, data management and reconciliation software. AutoRek’s clients include major financial institutions such as Bank of England, Lloyds Banking Group and Nationwide.

While the specifics of the SEP investment were not disclosed, a spokeswoman said it had been made under the private equity firm’s £260 million SEPV fund.

AutoRek, which was established in 1994 as a Microsoft consultancy business, employs 85 staff across its offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh and London, having placed “huge focus” on expanding its headcount in the last five years. And it expects staff numbers to “accelerate” further to the SEP investment.

Co-founder and chief executive Gordon McHarg said: “We are delighted to have SEP on board as an investment partner to continue the successful evolution of the AutoRek business.

“SEP has extensive experience in the software sector and we are looking forward to working with them to build on our recent growth and to capitalise on the substantial opportunity within the global financial services market.”

The deal was led by SEP partner Andrew Davison and director Angus Conroy, who have both now joined the AutoRek board.

Mr Conroy said: “AutoRek is a fast growing and capital efficient SaaS (software as a service) company, delivering business critical functionality to financial institutions across the asset management, banking and insurance sectors.

“The company has an excellent reputation in the financial and regulatory data management market and a strong focus on product innovation. We are pleased to be working with the management team to help them achieve their growth ambitions.”

In an interview with The Herald last summer, Mr McHarg explained that one of the biggest drivers of growth for AutoRek had been its decision to move from selling to leasing its software around five years ago. He said: “When you have clients like Lloyds Banking Group, Fidelity, Bank of England, Nationwide, signing up on a rental basis, then you have a much stronger and continuous revenue income.”

“It keeps the business highly resilient to market issues like this (coronavirus).”