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Salesforce Ventures led the round, which saw participation from Goldman Sachs and Softbank Investment Advisers (the Vision Fund, more or less). The investment follows a $300 million Series A that Automation Anywhere raised in November of 2018, a round led by the Vision Fund. Automation Anywhere was worth a more modest $2.6 billion (post-money) after its Series A, meaning that its new valuation ascribes billions of new dollars of value to the company after just one more year in operation.1
That valuation growth works out to about $350 million per month since its November Series A. It’s worth recalling that Automation Anywhere’s Series A came in two parts, including a $250 million round completed in July of 2018. Between its first and second Series A checks and its new capital, the company has now raised around $840 million in under 1.5 years.
What for, is a fair question. Simply put RPA involves taking rote, or routine tasks that humans normally perform, and then deploying software to execute the effort instead. When we discuss automation, media worries tend to fixate on labor that IRL workers perform; you might consider RPA to be the white-collar equivalent, to some degree.
Automation Anywhere competitor UiPath describes RPA as “the technology that allows anyone today to configure computer software, or a ‘robot’ to emulate and integrate the actions of a human interacting within digital systems to execute a business process.” UiPath has raised around $1 billion for its RPA work, including money from Accel and a $568 million Series D in April of this year led by Coatue.
RPA is a hot space for private investors.
While it’s fun to note that UiPath and Automation Anywhere will now face-off with nearly $2 billion invested between them, it’s worth considering what the Automation deal means for SoftBank. The new round pushes the value of the SoftBank investment much higher. That sort of markup could help the Japanese conglomerate raise, and launch its second Vision Fund. Perhaps the new Automation Anywhere round will begin to paper over the WeWork mess.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias.