UiPath’s enterprise arm backs workflow automation startup AirSlate

Proving that workflow automation is a sturdy sector, AirSlate, which gives no-code instruments for automating enterprise processes, at present introduced that it raised $51.5 million in a funding spherical that values the startup at over $1 billion. G Squared led the fairness spherical with participation from UiPath, making AirSlate the primary portfolio firm for UiPath’s newly launched, beforehand unannounced UiPath Ventures arm.

As part of the UiPath Ventures funding, AirSlate CEO Borya Shakhnovich mentioned that AirSlate will type a “strategic know-how partnership” with UiPath, which can present assets together with technical experience.

“We see a possibility to share our expertise and fervour for fostering the following era of revolutionary know-how options harnessing the ability of automation, AI, and machine studying … We consider there’s super potential in deepening and broadening the automation layer of the IT stack to assist extra firms digitize and automate their operations,” Vijay Khanna, chief company improvement officer at UiPath, mentioned in an emailed assertion. “The missions of UiPath and airSlate to allow firms to develop quicker and improve creativity and productiveness for tens of millions of employees are carefully aligned, which makes AirSlate a pure match for our funding from UiPath Ventures.”

It’s the assumption of some analysts that the marketplace for course of automation — and robotic course of automation particularly, which leverages AI to automate sure software program duties — is headed towards consolidation. A latest Forrester Analysis report predicts that the section will begin to flatten as quickly as 2023 as firms shift to broader automation options. There’s proof to help this. UiPath, which is among the largest RPA distributors, noticed its market cap drop from $35 billion to $15 billion throughout the span of a 12 months. And quite a lot of smaller gamers, together with SignavioIntellibot and Servicetrace, had been snatched up by incumbent tech corporations.

However Shakhnovich claims that AirSlate is bucking the pattern. Whereas he wouldn’t disclose financials, Shakhnovich mentioned that greater than 900,000 prospects and 100 million customers worldwide use AirSlate’s workflow options for accumulating digital signatures, managing paperwork and extra.

“With AirSlate’s suite of merchandise for digital transformation, a consumer can select the extent of sophistication of their workflow automation journey, from merely going analog to digital to including some workflow options to the total scope automation,” Shakhnovich instructed TechCrunch through electronic mail. “Enterprise IT resolution makers ought to care about AirSlate as a result of it alleviates the IT expertise hole and likewise solves the issue of the explosion within the variety of apps getting used, with corresponding challenges in knowledge transport between these apps.”


Picture Credit: AirSlate

AirSlate was based in 2008 by Vadim Yasinovsky as PDFfiller, with a concentrate on constructing enhancing instruments for PDF recordsdata. In 2012, Shakhnovich, beforehand a post-doc fellow at Harvard, joined PDFfiller because it rebranded to AirSlate.

Powered by RPA, AirSlate might help carry out duties like negotiating and facilitating funds by producing prefilled pages, sending reminders and notifications and extracting knowledge to replace information, Shakhnovich says. The platform leverages rules-based bots that combine with current companies to automate approvals, knowledge analytics, alerts, permission project and knowledge switch.

For firms in want of a totally managed providing, there’s AirSlate Enterprise Cloud, which spans PDF enhancing, esignature workflows and doc course of automation. Enterprise Cloud subscribers can writer new (or edit current) PDF paperwork, create and handle workflows, assign roles and ship out paperwork for esigning. Additionally they achieve entry to a web based library of state-specific authorized types, together with nondisclosure agreements, actual property types, wills and buyer contracts.

“Earlier than the pandemic, distant work was already rising in recognition, however the onset of COVID-19 dramatically accelerated the pattern,” Shakhnovich mentioned. “The ‘carry your individual system’ office coverage and remote-first workforce shifts have accelerated the consumerization of enterprise software program … The necessity for accessibility is pushing the pattern of consumerization additional, and AirSlate is making business-to-business know-how extra adaptable, intuitive, and simple to make use of.”

Like its many rivals within the course of automation area, AirSlate faces hurdles to additional development, together with implementation challenges with prospects. In response to a 2021 survey from Ensign, whereas the overwhelming majority of firms see a return on funding from workflow automation, solely 20% use the know-how as a approach to innovate and create new companies. The respondents blame a lack of knowledge amongst their workforce and resistance to alter, in addition to unrealistic expectations from the C-suite.

In one other problem, the broader software-based automation trade — whereas nonetheless flush with cash — is headed towards consolidation. SAP acquired German course of automation firm Signavio in January 2021, simply earlier than ServiceNow bought into the RPA section with the buyout of India-based Intellibot.io. IBM acquired course of mining software program firm MyInvenio in April. And Salesforce’s MuleSoft and Microsoft adopted go well with with the purchases of automation tech suppliers Servicetrace and Clear Software, respectively.

However regardless of this, and the truth that 80% of its workforce relies out of Kyiv — a war zone — Shakhnovich says that AirSlate has “remained resilient” and plans to almost double its workforce of 1,000 workers and full-time contractors throughout Ukraine, Poland, the U.S. and different nations the place it has bases of operations.

“Working practices throughout industries proceed to evolve and shifting market situations carry new challenges,” Spencer McLeod, companion and head of analysis at G Squared, mentioned in an announcement. “Companies are persevering with to hunt out revolutionary, value-driving office automation options like airSlate. Providing a mixture of appropriate instruments, AirSlate’s platform has broad attain and appeals to a big market, and its bold administration group stays centered on quickly delivering new options at aggressive charges.”

Up to now, AirSlate has raised $185.3 million in financing, a portion of which is debt.

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