Robotic process automation (RPA) — tech that tasks intelligent agents with performing repetitive, often monotonous office chores usually undertaken by human workers — is a red-hot sector. RPA startup UiPath‘s latest funding round now totals $265 million at a valuation of $3 billion, and Softomotive brought in $25 million in September. Today, Automation Anywhere announced it has secured a $300 million investment from SoftBank that values the company at $2.6 billion.
Automation Anywhere CEO and cofounder Mihir Shukla said that the capital, which expands a $265 million Series A round announced earlier this year to $550 million, will be used to grow the business overseas. The San Jose company currently operates in over 10 countries and previously said it intended to “deepen” customer engagements in North America, India, Europe, Australia, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore and to invest in “specialized” machine learning capabilities and new integrations designed to drive “higher operational efficiency” and “flexibility.”
“With this additional capital, we are in a position to do far more than any other provider,” Shukla said. “We will not only continue to deliver the most advanced RPA to the market, but we will help bring AI to millions. Like the introduction of the PC, we see a world where every office employee will work alongside digital workers, amplifying human contributions. Today, employees must know how to use a PC, and very soon employees will have to know how to build a bot.”
Automation Anywhere’s platform employs software robots that make business processes self-running. Using a combination of traditional RPA and cognitive elements such as unstructured data processing and natural language understanding, its machine learning-powered systems can crunch through tasks that normally take hundreds of thousands of employees.
The company’s spotlight solutions are IQ Bot, which learns by observing human behavior, and the Automation Anywhere Bot Store, a marketplace of prebuilt bots for common tasks. Automation Anywhere claims that the former has accumulated more than 65,000 users since its March 2018 launch.
“Customers tell us that traditional process automation technologies are capable of automating only about 20 percent of an enterprise’s business processes,” Shukla said in July, following Automation Anywhere’s initial Series A raise. “We believe our Intelligent Digital Workforce Platform can automate up to 80 percent of these processes. It’s a stark contrast and an enormous opportunity. The financing and our high caliber of investors strongly position us to push boundaries and drive the next major business disruption.”
The robotic process automation (RPA) market is expected to be worth $3.11 billion by 2025, according to Grand View Research.
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