WorkFusion, a New York-based artificial intelligence startup focused on improving companies’ back-end operations through machine learning, recently wrapped up a $35 million funding round, the company announced last week.
Led by Georgian Partners and supported by Mohr Davidow Ventures, iNovia, Nokia Growth Partners, Greycroft, and RTP Ventures, the Series D round brings the AI firm’s total fundraising tally to about $71 million, according to a statement. WorkFusion, billed as a “software robots company,” was officially incorporated in 2011.
“We invested in WorkFusion not only because it aligns with our thesis that AI will transform business, but most importantly because the company has made machine learning practical and powerful for enterprise operations,” Justin LaFayette, managing partner at Georgian Partners, said in a statement.
WorkFusion uses quick-thinking AI systems to create bots that trim down workloads.
The systems are capable of slashing manual, back-office work by as much as 90 percent, and simultaneously freeing up front-office capacity by five-fold, according to a press release announcing the funding. The software is able to learn from experience, the company says, eventually making what was once snooze-inducing data entry much more efficient.
“Our customers in banking, insurance, financial services and healthcare have already enjoyed an impressive [return on investment],” Max Yankelevich, WorkFusion’s CEO, said in a statement.
Yankelevich pointed to projections compiled by the International Data Corporation (IDC) last year that estimate cognitive systems and artificial intelligence revenues will swell from $8 billion in 2016 to $47 billion in 2020.
In the same IDC report, the organization estimated banking, retail, healthcare and discrete manufacturing accounted for half of the world’s cognitive computing and AI revenues in 2016.
“In these segments, we find a wealth of unstructured data, a desire to harness insights from this information, and an openness to innovative technologies,” Jessica Goepfert, a program director at IDC, said in a statement.
Adam Devine, vice president of marketing for WorkFusion, said his company has seen similar trends with its own clientele.
Following the addition of a new regional headquarters in Noida, India, in November, Devine said WorkFusion is eyeing more growth in 2017.
“We’re definitely opening in London, probably mid-Q2,” he said. “And just as soon as we can, we’ll be opening up in Singapore as well.”
Both Australia and Japan also top Devine’s shortlist of potential markets WorkFusion could tap in the future.
“Australia seems to be a very fast-moving market,” he said. “It’s not the biggest market, but it’s smart, it’s aggressive, and there’s some really big companies that are moving quickly there.”
Asia, excluding Japan, is expected to boast the second-highest estimated compound annual growth rate in the cognitive/AI market in the next five years, according to the IDC. By itself, Japan is expected to have the highest five-year compound annual growth rate of any region in the sector.
Devine said he believes WorkFusion is primed to shake up the so-called business process outsourcing industry, which effectively encapsulates all firms that help large industries shift some of their processes to cheaper labor markets.
“Some of those businesses are adopting WorkFusion and they are our partners, and others are behind the curve and we are competing with them,” he said. “I think if there is going to be an Oracle of intelligent automation, we are that company.”