Business process automation startup Anvil today announced it has raised $5 million. The company, which provides a paperwork processing platform that helps businesses build online experiences, intends to use the funding to accelerate its product development and go-to-market efforts.
Businesses share millions of paper forms every day. Only 18% of companies consider themselves paperless, according to an Adobe survey, and those in the U.S. waste $8 billion annually managing paperwork. Anvil targets these pain points with APIs and AI tools that let customers automatically populate paper and PDF forms, shaving days to weeks off of what were highly manual processes.
Anvil’s online platform allows businesses to guide clients through relevant questions and store answers to the questions in a secure database. It automatically sends data where it needs to go or simply outputs the information into the corresponding fields on a form. It is designed to do this while adhering to rules that automate business and approval processes (for example, by triggering new flows and gathering missing information) or reduce error. With the AnvilFlow builder, Anvil enables companies to customize web forms and add integrations, including those that support the capture of electronic signatures.
Anvil’s tool has three parts: a PDF converter, a web interface creator, and an integrations management interface. The PDF converter annotates existing PDF documents, tapping algorithms that generate web forms by specifying the location and type of fields that need to be completed. The interface creator gives users the ability to reorder fields, combine duplicate fields, add helper text, and add logic to conditionally hide or show specific fields. And the integrations management interface connects software to be used with Anvil, like customer relationship management systems.
Anvil — which says its hundreds of customers span financial services, human resources, technology, and health care companies — recently helped Minneapolis-based Sunrise Banks deploy its digital app process for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program. More than 1,600 small businesses used the bank’s form to apply for $127 million in loans in five days.
“We have seen incredible progress in automation technology that businesses are simply unable to leverage without a rip and replace of existing, battle-tested processes. Anvil eases this painful transition from analog to digital to online, with software that can adopt and enhance existing processes while applying automation to eliminate inefficiencies,” CEO and founder Mang-Git Ng told VentureBeat via email.
Gradient Ventures, Google’s AI-focused investment fund, led this latest series A investment in San Francisco-based Anvil, which saw participation from Citi Ventures, Menlo Ventures, Financial Venture Studio, and 122 West. It brings the company’s total raised to $7 million and follows fundraising by competitor Rossum, which taps AI to extract data from virtually any document, and by Ripcord, which leverages robotics and AI to digitize paper records. AI documents processing startup Flatfile also nabbed capital this week.