Automation Anywhere, which makes software that may disrupt traditional IT service management (ITSM), help desks and more, has raised $290 million in Series B funding at a potentially frothy post money valuation of $6.8 billion.
The massive funding and lofty valuation reflect growing demand for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) software. RPA allows businesses to write code and bots that rapidly automate tasks across multiple departments — from IT service desks to HR, finance, customer support and more. Still, it’s difficult to provide a reality check on the Automation Anywhere’s valuation since we don’t know the company’s actual revenues or profits/losses.
The latest Automation Anywhere funding was led by Salesforce Ventures with additional funding from existing investors, including SoftBank Investment Advisers and Goldman Sachs.
On a related note, the software company has launched an Automation Anywhere Salesforce Connector on Salesforce AppExchange. This new connector can, for example, “empower a customer service agent to get help from an attended RPA bot during a live customer call, improving both the agent’s productivity and the customer experience,” Automation Anywhere says.
Automation Anywhere: Executive Perspectives
Mihir Shukla, CEO & co-founder, Automation Anywhere
In a prepared statement about the funding, Automation Anywhere CEO Mihir Shukla said:
“Never before has there been such a transformative shift in the way we work, with artificially intelligent software bots changing how people, processes and technology interact for productivity gains. 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.”
Salesforce also weighed in with perspectives on the new connector software. Bill Patterson, executive VP and general manager, Salesforce Service Cloud, said:
“Automation Anywhere makes it easier for Salesforce customers to automate repetitive, manual tasks and focus on what matters most—the customer. We’re excited to extend our partnership with Automation Anywhere to help more customers automate their end-to-end business processes and accelerate their digital transformation journeys.”
RPA Bots: Hot or Hype (or Both)?
RPA is heavily hyped as a way to automate business and IT tasks — including service desks and IT support.
Here’s an example of how RPA software may shake up service desks and help desks, according to Automation Anywhere rival UiPath:
Still, some pundits (including ChannelE2E) wonder if some sectors within the IT automation and RPA markets are getting overhyped. UiPath, for instance, is growing rapidly but recently confirmed some targeted layoffs amid a longer-term path toward a potential IPO.