The initial hype around bots — applications that run partly or entirely using natural language processing, machine learning, computer vision and other AI tech to help consumers ask and answer questions, buy things and get other stuff done — may have waned a bit, but a startup building the equivalent for the enterprise world, in a fast-growing field called robotic process automation, is seeing its star rise.
TechCrunch has learned that UiPath, a startup that builds ‘software robots’ for enterprises to help automate legacy and back-office functions, has raised a Series B round of funding that sources tell us is around $120 million — a round that will catapult it to a valuation of over $1 billion.
“Catapult” is the operative word here: the company last raised money in April 2017, a $30 million round that valued UiPath, founded in Bucharest, Romania but now headquartered in New York, at around only $109 million, according to data from PitchBook. In other words, this latest funding increases its valuation nearly tenfold.
“I’ve never seen an enterprise company grow this fast,” one source close to the company said to us, when we asked how its valuation jumped so high, so quickly.
From what we understand, this latest round — which the company will use to continue investing in its product and growth — will include existing investors along with some high profile new backers. A couple of sources have told us that Kleiner Perkins Caulfield Byers is in this round, along with other “household name” VCs (we are still working on figuring out who these might be). Its previous backers…