Flowstep Nabs EUR 755K to Add Speed and User-Centrality to Design

  • Flowstep, the Estonian UX design startup, raised a EUR 755K Pre-Seed Round
  • The startup develops a design copilot to speed up the designer’s work up to 10x and allow them to focus on the user experience as such
  • All the investment will be spent on intensive product development
  • The public release of the product is scheduled for 2024

This November, Tallinn-based UX design startup Flowstep brought in EUR 755K of investment in an oversubscribed Pre-Seed round. The well-known Estonian VC Tera Ventures (invested in Avokaado, among others) led the round, joined by Specialist VC and a group of angel investors including Wolt’s Elias Aalto who is convinced that Flowstep has a solid vision and a proven team to bring it to life.

UX Drawbacks Are Everybody’s Personal Pain

Matt Clannachan, Co-Founder and CEO at Flowstep

An international team of experienced founders started Flowstep earlier this year. Svyat Polishchuk used to work for Bolt as a design lead, responsible for the success of the Bolt Drive service, as well as the UX for scooter rentals. Kaarel Roben (CTO) is a self-taught coder with a portfolio of successful fintech products under his belt. Sami Nieminen, the AI lead, has a Master’s degree in Human-Computer Interaction, as well as a deep learning classifier model that he developed. Finally, Flowstep’s CEO Matt Clannachan, CEO personally experienced the pain points while working as a VP of Product in fintech.

‘Personal frustration – we’ve all struggled with overly complex online checkout processes, the insane steps you need to take to book a flight, or confusing navigation in mobile apps. These are not just minor annoyances; they can turn users away. That’s expensive for companies. We’ve also seen the other side of the coin, because we’ve collectively built products used by millions. It’s extremely difficult for companies to get design right, and we understand first-hand why it happens,’ Mr Clannachan shares.

UX Design and User-Centrality

Riivo Anton, Founding Partner at Specialist VC

Every $1 invested in UX is estimated to return $100. At the same time, design is still an extremely manual process that takes not only a lot of skill but also a lot of time. The problems mentioned by Mr Clannachan largely come from the fact that design, much like other stages of product development, is understaffed. This means that there aren’t enough specialists to complete the ongoing tasks, which leads to the gaps in product quality that users have to suffer.

However, other stages of the product development process are already increasing in speed by up to 55%, while the design bottleneck and output quality remain extremely costly in terms of human hours.

Specialist VC’s founding partner Riivo Anton believes that Flowstep has the potential to empower designers by enhancing their understanding of user preferences, enabling them to contribute significantly to the creation of successful, user-centric products.

‘Our experience has shown that design and UX are critical drivers of success in competitive verticals. People prefer solutions that offer an excellent user experience over subpar alternatives,’ he states.

Design Copilot to Help Focus on What Matters

Kaspar Hanni, Partner at Specialist VC

‘Think of Flowstep as an assistant for product designers. Just like what Grammarly does for writers. Imagine the services you use every day – for banking, listening to music, ordering food, and so on. Most people don’t realize that every button you press and every screen you see has been meticulously engineered by a team of experts. All in an effort to make the experience user-friendly, and so you keep coming back. But they often get it wrong, and are too slow to improve things. That’s where Flowstep comes in. We help designers produce better quality work, 10x faster,’ Mr Clannachan explains.

The CEO later admits that 10x is a modest calculation while the actual rate is closer to 100x. More specifically, Flowstep team successfully developed an AI-powered copilot that can create design artifacts in seconds that could take hours if done manually.

Design the Way We Wish It to Be

Andrus Oks, Founding Partner at Tera Ventures

UX is one of the critical drivers of success in competitive verticals, and getting it right is also one of the most time consuming journeys when building a product. Intuitive solution to improve the quality and efficiency of the UX design process addresses a big problem in an attractive market,’ Specialist VC’s partner Kaspar Hanni points out.

According to Tera Ventures’ founding partner Andrus Oks, his fund isn’t just investing to capture the massive market opportunity. They are supporting a team capable of redefining the industry.

‘These founders identified a glaring pain point in UX and have the multi-faceted skill set to solve it. Flowstep is making design as fast and effortless as we always wished it could be, and that’s not just good for designers — that’s good for anyone building anything in the digital space, and for the users of these products as well,’ Mr Oks adds.

Flowstep invests the raised money back into product development in its entirety. The team is shipping hourly and testing iterations with selected users. The startup schedules a full public roll-out in 2024.


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