Thu. Jan 20th, 2022

Automation Anywhere, best known for its robotic process automation (RPA) software, plans to expand the platform. This morning, the company announced its intention to acquire FortressIQ, a process discovery startup. The companies did not disclose the purchase price.

FortressIQ gives Automation Anywhere this missing process discovery component, which enables AI-driven software to map internal processes in an automated manner, replacing expensive consultants.

“Together, Automation Anywhere and FortressIQ will reshape the future of automation and change the way our customers automate, adapt and accelerate as they pursue digital transformation initiatives,” said Automation Anywhere CEO and co-founder Mihir Shukla in a statement.

While there’s more than a hint of executive bombast in that statement, the acquisition expands the company’s capabilities. Recall that, according to PitchBook data, FortressIQ has raised $46 million since its inception in 2017. We covered the $12 million Series A in 2018 and $30 million Series B last year.

But compare that to the industry leader Celonis, which has attracted $1.4 billion in investment, according to Crunchbase data, including a massive $1 billion Series B at a June valuation of $11 billion. That followed a major agreement with IBM in April to help sell its services within large organizations.

FortressIQ founder and CEO Pankaj Chowdhry told me at the time of the B round that the company was focused on a computer vision solution to drive automated process detection.

“We build this kind of cool computer vision to help with process discovery, usually in the automation space to help you automate processes. But what we’ve seen is people use our data to drive transformation strategies, of which automation is ultimately a pretty small part. is,” he said at the time. As part of Automation Anywhere, it should play a much bigger role.

Process automation has certainly been a hot area lately, with RPA, low-code workflow tools, and process mining coming together this year to generate a plethora of market activity. UIPath, the RPA market leader, went public in April to much fanfare and an eventual private valuation of $35 billion, though the stock has since cooled.

Regardless, Gartner considers UIPath, Blue Prism, and Automation Anywhere to be the RPA market leaders, and this acquisition is about expanding the company’s platform and automation capabilities to keep pace with the industry.

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