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Salesforce Ventures leads $290 mn funding in Automation Anywhere

Salesforce Ventures leads $290 mn funding in Automation Anywhere
Photo Credit: VCCircle

Robotic process automation (RPA) software firm Automation Anywhere has raised $290 million in a Series B funding round led by Salesforce Ventures. Existing investors including Goldman Sachs and Softbank Vision Fund participated in the round.

The investment was raised at a post-money valuation of $6.8 billion, an official statement from the company said.

Salesforce Ventures is the venture capital arm of customer relationship management (CRM) software service provider Salesforce.com Inc.

Indian-origin founders' Automation Anywhere, based in Silicon Valley, will use the fresh funds to further strengthen its artificial intelligence (AI) powered automation platform. .

The company’s solution helps customers bridge the gap between the front and back office by automating the end-to-end business processes. The funding will help the company advance its focus on improving human-to-bot collaboration through attended automation.

“This new funding reinforces the promise of the RPA category and empowers our customers to achieve greater business agility and increased efficiencies by automating end-to-end business processes – bridging the gap between the front and back office, Mihir Shukla, CEO and co-founder, Automation Anywhere, said.

The company was founded as Tethys Solutions in 2003 by  Mihir Shukla, Ankur Kothari, Neeti Mehta Shukla and Rushabh Parmani.

Shukla, who studied computer software at The Maharaja Sayajirao University in Baroda, is a veteran in Silicon Valley, with more than 25 years in the technology industry. Before Automation Anywhere, Shukla held leadership roles in internet, e-commerce, and wireless companies such as E2Open, Kiva, ISN, Netscape, Infoseek and OmniSky.  

Kothari, the company's revenue chief, is a computer engineer from the University of Mumbai and a post-graduate in computers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Neeti Mehta Shukla has an MBA degree from Bond University, Australia. Parmani studied computers at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, US.

The company offers robotic process automation, which uses software bots to automate entire business operations. 

Automation Anywhere was valued at more than $2.6 billion when it raised a Series A funding of $550 million last year led by SoftBank Vision Fund, Goldman Sachs and General Atlantic.

Shukla has previously said India has become the second-largest market for the enterprise software firm due to the presence of a large number of technology engineering centres of tech and non-tech enterprises, which deploy process and operation automation tools.

In August this year, the company announced that it will invest $100 million in research and development and hire more people in the Indian development centres.

Buoyed by the kind of growth it has seen in the country, Automation Anywhere opened four new offices in Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad and Delhi. The company had said it will have close to 3,000 employees globally by the end of this year with almost 1,200 in India.

It has offices in more than 40 countries and has claimed to have deployed over 1.7 million bots for its clients spanning across industries.

In an interaction with TechCircle, Shukla said that RPA has emerged as a key vehicle for large enterprises to drive digital transformation as the return on investment tends to be much faster.

Other players in the segment are UiPath and Blue Prism. 

Equity research firm KeyBanc Capital Markets estimates RPA to be a $100 billion market opportunity. Another technology research firm Gartner estimates that by 2021, 90% of large and midsize organisations will have at least one process supported by RPA.

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