New York-based UiPath, a startup specializing in Robotic Process Automation, a new arena also known as “software robots,” has reeled in a fresh round of cash from IVP, Madrona Venture Group and Meritech Capital, extending its Series C financing round to $265 million, up from $225 million in September.
Along with the additional investment, UiPath said it is looking to “significantly scale up” its research-and-development office in Bellevue, Wash., announcing the hiring of new senior engineering and business leaders from Microsoft and K2 in the Seattle region.
Previous investors in the round were CapitalG, Sequoia Capital and Accel. Some of the additional cash will be used to grow the business, while other portions of the financing round provided an opportunity for employees to cash out some of their shares.
The new investors “will no doubt help us continue to define and lead the Automation First era for customers everywhere,” said UiPath CEO and co-founder Daniel Dines in a statement.
Typically, Seattle-based Madrona focuses on earlier-stage investment opportunities, but the venture firm cited its strong interest in Robotic Process Automation and artificial intelligence in making the investment.
Param Kahlon, UiPath chief product officer, writes in a blog post this morning, “As we build out our Automation First strategy with a focus on applying AI to enhance employee productivity, the AI expertise in the greater Seattle region and at Madrona will be crucial to automating work processes. This region is clearly a leader in advanced AI expertise and we are excited to be here building out a product and R&D focused team.”
Madrona managing director S. “Soma” Somasegar, the former leader of Microsoft’s Developer Division, is joining the UiPath board, and the venture firm is expected to work closely with the company as it expands in the Seattle area.
Robotic Process Automation involves systems that use AI to learn and then take over routine and mundane software processes and business workflows from human workers. UiPath explains on its site, “RPA robots are capable of mimicking many – if not most – human user actions. They log into applications, move files and folders, copy and paste data, fill in forms, extract structured and semi-structured data from documents, scrape browsers, and more.”
UiPath says it has “already automated millions of repetitive, mind-numbing tasks for business and government organizations all over the world. The company lists customers including NASA, Thomson Reuters, DHL, Kelly Services, HP, GE and others.
The company is considered a leader in Robotic Process Automation, along with rivals such as Automation Anywhere, Blue Prism, WorkFusion and others.
“AI will transform many aspects of businesses. We are already seeing this across different verticals and industries in a variety of use cases,” Somasegar said in the UiPath blog post. “Robotic Process Automation, an area we have been interested in for over a year, combined with AI has the opportunity to significantly change how work is done and increase by orders of magnitude employee productivity and satisfaction.”
UiPath also has product development offices in Bangalore and Bucharest, in addition to offices in London and Paris, and headquarters in Midtown Manhattan. The Bellevue office focuses on the company’s developer engagement and AI capabilities. The company announced four new hires this morning.
- Nic Surpatanu, a senior vice president at UiPath who previously led platform engineering for Microsoft Office 365;
- Munil Shah, a UiPath senior vice president who was previously director of engineering in the Developer Services, Cloud and AI Division at Microsoft;
- Prabhdeep (PD) Singh, vice president of AI, who previously led product development and business for Microsoft’s Sales Intelligence AI solution;
- Dave Marcus, VP of product and technology alliance management, previously senior vice president of alliances at K2, the Seattle-area software company.
This is not the first time that Seattle-based Madrona has invested in a late-stage company headquartered outside of the region. It is also a backer of Snowflake, a Silicon Valley-based cloud data warehousing computing company, which also has a fast-growing Seattle area engineering center. Somasegar has led Madrona’s investments in companies including Snowflake, AnswerIQ, and MightyAI.