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China’s Laiye Bags $50 Million in New Funding to Develop Robotic Automation Tech

By Ding Yi / Apr 22, 2021 03:14 PM / Finance

Laiye, a Chinese developer of robotic process automation (RPA) systems, has pocketed $50 million in its series C+ funding round co-led by Ping An Global Voyager Fund and Shanghai Artificial Intelligence Industry Equity Investment Fund, reflecting a growing investor interest in a technology used to enhance productivity in workplaces.

Other investors included Lightspeed China Partners, Sequoia Capital China and Wu Capital, Laiye said in a WeChat post on Wednesday.

RPA systems are used to mimic tedious and repetitive workplace tasks like keyboard strokes and mouse clicks to help businesses reduce staffing costs and human errors. Use of RPA tools saw a boom during the Covid-19 pandemic, as a growing number of companies explored ways to automate their workflow.

The capital raised in the new round will be used for global expansion, talent recruitment, artificial intelligence technology development and the deployment of new mobile-based products, according to Laiye.

Beijing-based Laiye said that its revenue from RPA software service subscriptions skyrocketed 900% year-on-year in 2020, with the year’s final quarter seeing its enterprise-focused business achieve a positive cash flow while its chatbot business turned a profit during the quarter.

Established in 2015, Laiye offers smart robotic automation products, natural language processing, dialogue management and context-based recommendations to companies from various industries ranging from finance and manufacturing to telecoms and retail. In 2019, Laiye launched an RPA platform called UiBot which it claims can help enterprises improve operating and management efficiency as well as lower labor costs.

CEO Wang Guanchun said that Laiye aims to amass 1 million certified software robot developers by 2025, as the company expands its services globally. Currently, Laiye has a local team in Singapore consisting of experts who have worked for tech giants including Microsoft, IBM and Oracle.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: Chinese AI Firm Laiye Secures $42 Million in Series C Funding Round


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