Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Company UiPath has gained Reinfer, a London-based startup developing natural language processing (NLP) tools for enterprises. Terms of a transaction have not been disclosed.
Originally founded in Romania as Deskover in 2005, UiPath is one of the preeminent RPA platforms, helping to automate repetitive software tasks at companies like Google, NASA and DHL. After rebranding in 2015, UiPath moved its headquarters to New York two years later. The company raised about $2 billion and reached a valuation of $35 billion. ahead of his entering the public markets in April 2021, although his estimate fell in the past months.
RPA meets AI
While RPA differs from AI in that the former usually takes a manual “rule-based” approach, RPA certainly co-exists with AI, and the two technologies can be used in combination with each other automate all kinds of repetitive tasks in the workforce.
UiPath is already using artificial intelligence through Center for Artificial Intelligence, allowing its customers to include artificial intelligence and machine learning (ML) models in their automation – this includes pre-built models provided by UiPath, such as extracting and classifying data from documents, emails, or images. But it also allows companies to use their own machine learning models or access third-party models provided by UiPath.
So UiPath is not new to AI, but by bringing Reinfer on board, the company is to some extent strengthening its own NLP capabilities. Reinfer specializes in converting unstructured information from documents and messages into structured data. This data can then be analyzed and used as part of a company’s broader automated workflows.
The problem that Reinfer intends to solve is huge – they say that unstructured data is as much as 90% all data generated by organizations, from text and images to server logs and customer support emails. Such data can contain deep insights, such as whether consumers are satisfied or dissatisfied with a company’s product, but uncovering such insights has traditionally been a manual, time-consuming process—and this is where NLP comes into play, allowing companies to mine information at scale. .
So, instead of just sending an automatic response to an end user’s email request, UiPath and Reinfer combined can allow businesses to send customized responses based on the details of the original message.
“Automation and AI are a powerful and natural pairing that together empower the fully automated enterprise,” Ted Kummert, executive vice president of products and development at UiPath, said in a press release. “Our clients are inundated with the documents, messages and data they need to make sense and process efficiently. Combining Reinfer NLP technology with our document understanding and AI products expands our current AI automation capabilities and opens up new automation opportunities for our customers.”
Reinfer was founded in the UK in 2015 and raised just over $11 million in funding. In its seven-year history, Reinfer has also amassed a pretty impressive list of clients, including Deloitte, Natwest, UBS, Deutsche Bank and Accenture, so this latest deal should open up a wider client base for UiPath.
As a result of the acquisition, Reinfer features are already available to UiPath customers in private preview, with further integration plans to be announced later this year.
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