Laiye, China’s answer to UiPath, closes $50 million Series C+ – TechCrunch

The automation of robot processes has increased significantly in the last few months. New York-based UiPath is well on its way to launching an IPO after earning a staggering $ 35 billion valuation in February. Local RPA startup Laiye is also making waves in China.

Laiye, which develops software to mimic everyday tasks in the workplace such as keystrokes and mouse clicks, announced that it has raised $ 50 million in a Series C + round. Proceeds came approximately a year after the Beijing-based company withdrew the first tranche of its Series C round.

Laiye, six years old and led by Baidu veterans, has raised over $ 130 million to date, according to public information.

Leading investors in the C + series were the Ping An Global Voyager Fund, an early-stage strategic investment vehicle of the Chinese financial conglomerate Ping An, and the Shanghai Artificial Intelligence Industry Equity Investment Fund, a government-backed fund. Other participants were Lightspeed China Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sequoia China and Wu Capital.

RPA tools are attracting companies looking for ways to automate workflows during COVID-19, which has disrupted collaboration in the office. But enterprise technology was gaining traction even before the pandemic. As my colleague, Ron Miller wrote this month after UiPath’s S1 filing:

“The category was growing in popularity at this point as it looked at automation in an old context. This meant that companies with deep legacy technology – virtually anyone who wasn’t born in the cloud – could automate across legacy platforms without ripping and replacing them. This is an expensive and risky endeavor that most CEOs would rather not undertake. “

In one case, Laiye’s RPA software helped social insurance companies in Lanzhou City accelerate their account reconciliation by 75%. In the past, they had to enter retirees’ information and manually check that the information was correct.

In another case, Laiye’s chatbot helped automate the census in several southern Chinese cities and exempted census participants from house-to-house visits.

Laiye said his RPA corporate business had positive cash flow and his chatbot business had increased profitability in the fourth quarter of 2020. The free edition has amassed over 400,000 developers, and the company also operates a bot marketplace that connects freelance developers with small-scale developers. Time companies with automation needs.

Laiye is expanding its services worldwide and boasts that its presence is now spamming Asia, the US and Europe.

“Laiye’s goal is to foster the world’s largest community of software robots and develop the world’s largest bot marketplace over the next three years. We aim to certify at least one million software robot developers by 2025,” said Wang Guanchun, Chairman and CEO by Laiye.

“We believe that the digital workforce and intelligent automation will reach all areas of life as long as more human workers have knowledge of RPA and AI.”

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