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Automation Anywhere Layoffs 2020: WFH Pressures Salesforce-Backed RPA Startup

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) software startup Automation Anywhere has cut 10 percent of its staff — laying off about 260 people from the 2,600 person workforce, according to Axios.

The cuts offer a reality check for the RPA software market — a hugely hyped area that promises to automate manual business processes and technology tasks. Indeed, some RPA software vendors focus heavily on IT service management (ITSM) and help desk automation.

The Automation Anywhere layoffs surface roughly five months after the RPA software company raised $290 million at a $6.8 billion valuation. That funding round was led by Salesforce Ventures with additional funding from existing investors, including SoftBank Investment Advisers and Goldman Sachs.

Related: Complete list of 2020 technology industry layoffs.

RPA Software Demand: Slowing Growth?

Automation Anywhere expects to generate double-digit growth in 2020, but the company says its overall growth rate will slow this year amid the coronavirus pandemic. Among the big challenges: Many enterprise business processes may completely change or get eliminated as companies embrace Work From Home (WFH) models. As a result, the business world will “really not be the same” after the pandemic, Automation Anywhere told Silicon Valley Business Journal.

According to Layoffs.fyi website, 80 Silicon Valley startups have cut nearly 7,000 jobs since March 11, Silicon Valley Business Journal notes.

Some RPA software providers were resizing their businesses even before the pandemic arrived. UiPath in October 2019 cut 300 to 400 employees — or roughly 11 percent of the company’s workforce.

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