Robocorp announces $5.6M seed to bring open-source option to RPA – TechCrunch

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has been a hot commodity in recent years as it helps automate tedious manual workflows in large companies. Robocorp, a startup from San Francisco, wants to bring open source and RPA together. Today it announced a $ 5.6 million seed investment.

Benchmark led the round, which was attended by Slow Ventures, firstminute Capital, Bret Taylor (President and Chief Product Officer at Salesforce) and Docker CEO Rob Bearden. In addition, Benchmark’s Peter Fenton will join the company’s board of directors.

Robocorp co-founder and CEO Antti Karjalainen has been involved in open source projects for years and saw a category of enterprise software that lacked open source options. “We have a unique perspective on RPA where we bring open source and cloud-native technologies to market and focus on developer-led technologies,” said Karjalainen.

He sees a top-down market focused on strong sales cycles. He wants to bring the focus back to the developers who will be using the tools. “Our aim is to take the friction away from the developers. So we focus on making tools available to developers they love to use and want to use for RPA, in an open source model where the tools themselves can be used free of charge, ”he said.

The company is building on the open source Robot Framework project, which was originally developed as an open source software test bed, but he sees that RPA has a lot in common with testing and his team was able to take over and promote the project it to RPA.

If you’re wondering how the company is going to make money, they are offering a cloud service to further reduce the complexity of using the open source tools, and that includes the types of functionality companies are demanding from these projects such as security, identity and access management, etc.

Benchmark’s Peter Fenton, who has invested in several successful open source startups including JBoss, SpringSource and Elastic, sees RPA as an area ripe for a developer-centric open source option. “We live in the era of developers, in which cloud-native and open source offer the freedom to innovate without restrictions. Robocorp’s approach to RPA gives developers the cloud-native, open source tools to bring RPA to their businesses without the annoying limitations of existing offerings, ”said Fenton.

The company intends to use the money to add new employees and continue to scale the cloud product while working on building the underlying open source community.

While UIPath, a fast-growing startup valued at a whopping $ 7.1 billion, recently announced the layoff of 400 employees, Gartner released a study in June showing that RPA is the fastest growing category for enterprise software.

June 14, 2021