Chines startup AI Firm Laiye, on Monday, has disclosed a $42 million Series C funding round which comes less than a year after closing its Series B.
The funding round was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Lightspeed China Partners followed by the company’s existing investors Cathay innovation and Wu Capital, both companies first took part in Laiye’s Series B and Series A funding before.
The funding round moves the company closer to the category leader as the most funded company in Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in China. According to a statement by Laiye CEO Wang Guanchun, the fund will be used to focus on recruitment globally and to strengthen the business and technology of the company as well as expand its services.
“We believe robotic process automation will achieve its full potential when it combines AI and the best human talent,” Arvid Wang, co-founder and co-chief executive of Laiye said.
Laiye focuses on artificial intelligence and chatbots, as well as robotic process automation (RPA), which allows companies to assign repetitive tasks to computers.
For years, China was known for its cost-effective labor globally, however, in recent years, many government agencies and organizations have begun to optimize their productivity through technology.
That’s where Laiye stands, RPA (Robotic Process Automation) aims to relieve humans from doing repetitive and procedural works in massive volumes. But with the development of AI technologies, RPA is upgrading into IPA and is expected to perform more sophisticated works with cognitive training and others.
Western countries, the top three well-known RPA companies, UiPath (valued at USD 7 billion), Blue Prism, and Automation Anywhere (valued at USD 6.8 billion) have raised mega-deals, while the market in China remains in the early stage with small players like i-Search, Cyclone, and EncooTech.
Development is accelerated in China, though the RPA industry in China is still at an early stage. Laiye takes up the role when it merged with Awesome Technology and acquired a smaller competitor, UiBot, and raised US$ 35 million in an extended tranche of Series B fundraising in June.
According to the firm, the merge has let Laiye built a business development team to be in the service of governments and enterprises with hundreds of employees, and a 300-member delivery & implementation team.
Meanwhile, Weng Jiaqi joined Liaye as vice president of solution engineering. He is the former chief technology officer at chatbot developer Emotibot.