The fact that AirSlate, which offers no-code tools for automating business processes, raised $51.5 million in a funding round that values the startup at over $1 billion, demonstrates the strength of the workflow automation market. AirSlate became the first portfolio firm for UiPath’s newly established, previously undisclosed UiPath Ventures division after G Squared led the financing round with participation from UiPath.
AirSlate CEO Borya Shakhnovich stated that as part of the UiPath Ventures investment, AirSlate will establish a “strategic technological collaboration” with UiPath, which will provide resources such as technical experience.
We see a chance to impart our knowledge and enthusiasm for fostering the development of cutting-edge technological solutions that make use of automation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. According to Vijay Khanna, chief corporate development officer at UiPath, “We believe there is significant opportunity in strengthening and widening the automation layer of the IT stack to enable more businesses digitize and automate their operations.” “AirSlate is a logical fit for our investment from UiPath Ventures since the aims of UiPath and airSlate to enable organizations to expand faster and boost creativity and productivity for millions of workers are closely aligned.”
Some analysts think that the market for process automation, and specifically robotic process automation, which uses AI to automate some software activities, is moving in the direction of consolidation. According to a recent Forrester Research analysis, as businesses switch to more comprehensive automation solutions, the market will begin to flatten as early as 2023. There is evidence to back this up. One of the biggest RPA providers, UiPath, saw its market valuation go from $35 billion to $15 million in just one year. Additionally, a few smaller players like Signavio, Intellibot, and Servicetrace were acquired by established IT companies.
However, Shakhnovich asserts that AirSlate is defying the norm. Despite his refusal to provide financial information, Shakhnovich claimed that over 900,000 clients and 10 million users utilize AirSlate’s workflow solutions for a variety of tasks, including gathering electronic signatures and handling documents.
A user can choose the level of sophistication in their workflow automation journey using AirSlate’s suite of products for digital transformation, from simply switching from analog to digital to adding some workflow elements to the full scope automation, according to Shakhnovich in an email to TechCrunch. Because AirSlate closes the IT talent gap and addresses the issue of the exponential growth in the use of applications, which presents difficulties in data transit across various apps, enterprise IT decision makers should be concerned about it.
Vadim Yasinovsky established AirSlate in 2008 as PDFfiller with the goal of creating editing software for PDF files. Shakhnovich, who had been a post-doc fellow at Harvard, joined PDFfiller in 2012 as it changed its name to AirSlate.
By generating prefilled pages, providing reminders and notifications, and extracting data to update records, AirSlate, which is powered by RPA, can assist with duties like negotiating and processing payments, according to Shakhnovich. To automate approvals, data analytics, warnings, authorization assignment, and data transfer, the platform makes use of rules-based bots that interface with already-existing services.
AirSlate Business Cloud, which includes PDF editing, e-signature workflows, and document process automation, is available for businesses who require a fully managed product. Subscribers to the Business Cloud have access to the ability to author new (or change pre-existing) PDF documents, build and manage workflows, assign responsibilities, and send documents out for electronic signature. Additionally, they have access to an online database of wills, nondisclosure agreements, real estate forms, and consumer contracts that are tailored to each state.
Remote employment was becoming more and more common before the pandemic, but the emergence of COVID-19 significantly expedited the trend, according to Shakhnovich. The consumerization of corporate software has been driven by “bring your own device” policies in the workplace and remote-first workforce changes… The trend toward consumerization is being accelerated by the demand for accessibility, and AirSlate is enhancing the adaptability, simplicity, and use of business-to-business technology.
AirSlate faces obstacles to future expansion, including difficulties with customer implementation, like many of its competitors in the process automation market. While most businesses get a return on investment from workflow automation, only 20% use the technology to innovate and offer new services, according to a 2021 survey from Ensign. The respondents place the blame on their workforce’s lack of experience, resistance to change, and overly high expectations from the C-suite.
Another difficulty is that, although having plenty of money, the larger software-based automation sector is moving in the direction of consolidation. Just before ServiceNow entered the RPA market by purchasing India-based Intellibot.io in January 2021, SAP purchased German process automation company Signavio. In April, IBM purchased MyInvenio, a provider of process mining tools. Following suit, Microsoft and Salesforce’s MuleSoft acquired the automation technology companies Servicetrace and Clear Software, respectively.
Shakhnovich claims that AirSlate has “remain[ed] resilient” in spite of this and the fact that 80% of its workforce is based in Kyiv, a war-torn region, and plans to nearly double its current workforce of 1,000 employees and full-time contractors across Ukraine, Poland, the U.S., and other countries where it has bases of operations.
Spencer McLeod, partner and head of research at G Squared, said in a statement that “working patterns across industries continue to adapt and shifting market conditions present new problems.” “Businesses are still looking for cutting-edge, economically advantageous workplace automation solutions like airSlate. AirSlate’s platform has a wide market appeal and a variety of compatible tools, and its ambitious management team is committed to delivering new solutions quickly and at a price that is competitive.AirSlate has so far secured $185.3 million in funding, some of it in the form of debt.
To date, AirSlate has raised $185.3 million in financing, a portion of which is debt.