Microsoft Acquiring RPA Startup Softomotive?
Microsoft is negotiating to acquire RPA (robotic process automation) software provider Softomotive, Bloomberg reports. The potential deal, if consummated, would position Microsoft against fast-growth RPA software providers such as Automation Anywhere and UiPath.
Updated May 19, 2020: Microsoft officially acquires Softomotive
RPA software 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. Much of the RPA software industry focuses on enterprise customers. Still, RPA may even eventually catch on in the SMB market as MSPs seek to further automate internal and customer operations.
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Softomotive & Microsoft Power Automate
Amid that backdrop, Softomotive has quietly grown from its 2006 launch to support more than 8,000 customers. A reseller program, launched in 2011, has supported that growth.
Softomotive’s flagship products include:
- WinAutomation — a desktop automation tool for small teams.
- ProcessRobot — for enterprise RPA development.
The company in 2018 raised $25 million in Series A capital from Grafton Capital.
Meanwhile, Microsoft has its own RPA software called Power Automate (previously Microsoft Flow). It’s explained here:
ChannelE2E does not know if Softomotive and Microsoft Power Automate are complementary in nature.
Neither Microsoft nor Softomotive have commented about the alleged M&A discussions.
RPA Market Growth, Challenges
The global robotic process automation market is expected to reach $10.7 billion by 2027, expanding at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 33.6% from 2020 to 2027, according to Grand View Research Inc.
Still, the RPA market faces some growth challenges amid the coronavirus pandemic and related economic fallout. The evidence: Both UiPath and Automate Anywhere have had targeted layoffs in recent months.