Prove that there is room for another supplier in the robotic process automation (RPA) market, RPA supervisor announced today that it has raised $20 million in a Series A round led by Dawn Capital with participation from S16vc and existing investor MMC Ventures. The infusion, which brings the startup’s total to $25 million, will be spent on product development and increasing RPA Supervisor’s overall workforce, CEO Tobias Gundhus told gotechbusiness.com via email.
RPA refers to tools that partially or fully automate manual, rules-based, and repetitive software tasks. Led by giants like Automation Anywhere and UiPath, the RPA industry has been on an impressive upward trajectory of late, with Forrester forecasting that RPA-related services could bring in $16 billion by 2025.
But according to Gundhus, the success of RPA vendors masks the challenges faced by many organizations implementing RPA technologies. A recently Research found that 69% of organizations that have adopted RPA experience broken automation pipelines at least once a week, with nearly half (41%) saying it takes an average of five hours to fix. a separate opinion poll van Pega suggests that as many as 45% of RPA implementations take between one and two years to deploy — significantly longer than expected.
“RPA Supervisor was created to solve real-world problems plaguing RPA operations,” Gundhus said. “Together, Erik Lien, Anders Frostad and I recognized that dynamic orchestration, automated management and enhanced visibility would enable RPA to reach its full potential and open the door to integration with more complex intelligent automation technologies. We wanted to develop a platform that would deliver stable, responsive and cost-effective robotic workers, and RPA Supervisor was launched in 2018.”
RPA Supervisor is designed to orchestrate existing automation and RPA products and add monitoring and queuing capabilities to platforms such as Microsoft Power Automate Desktop, UiPath, Blue Prism and soon Automation Anywhere. Using RPA Supervisor, a customer can enter their “business requirements” (as Gundhus puts it) for each automation process, so that the RPA Supervisor engine prioritizes which RPA employee should work on which process. The platform adapts capacity as needed, automatically starting and stopping processes to maximize use of cloud or local compute resources.
RPA Supervisor also tries to fix problems in RPA systems as they arise. Gundhus claims that its exception and event handling system can fix 90% of the RPA breach, and in cases where it can’t, the RPA Supervisor sends an alert to the appropriate IT team.
From a dashboard, RPA Supervisor customers can manage and monitor RPA systems while viewing real-time statistics. While most RPA vendors offer built-in monitoring and reporting tools, Gundhus argues that more often than not they miss details, especially in cases where more than one RPA solution is used.
“The need for automation has been fueled by the pandemic, and as businesses start to rely on this type of technology, they are also beginning to see the need for a centralized management platform,” Gundhus said. “Our platform provides an effective solution to reduce the total cost of ownership of an automation program, making it very attractive in times of economic uncertainty when companies are asked to do more with less.”
Gundhus claims that RPA Supervisor currently has about 100 subscribers, including several government customers. Competitors include startups like ProcessMaker, but Gundhus – while realistic about the economic climate – expects strong growth in the coming year. RPA Supervisor plans to hire 30 people by the end of the year, expanding the team to 80.
“We are making RPA software truly enterprise-grade by enabling 24/7 operations that ensure compliance with service level agreements, improve service speed, and increase resiliency and stability in their automation landscape,” Gundhus added.