Businesses may be one step closer to having robot employees, as private equity firm Livingbridge today invested £3.5m in back office automation specialist Symphony Ventures.
Symphony, a global services firm based in San Francisco, focuses on robotic process automation (RPA) and intelligent automation. It hopes to cut out the human involvement in tasks which are manual, repetitive, complex and time-consuming.
The Series A funding from Livingbridge will be used to double Symphony's employee headcount, help it expand into new countries and widen its product development capacity.
“Symphony Ventures has swiftly developed a strong position in the rapidly growing RPA and intelligent automation space, a multi-billion-pound sector we have monitored since its inception,” said Livingbridge's Henry Alty, who will join the company's board of directors.
According to Symphony, RPA can yield improvements in speed, accuracy, quality and compliance while delivering significant cost savings. It has noted increasing demand for the technology for front, middle and back office operations, from human resources to finance and accounting to procurement to logistics. Data from HfS Research indicates the RPA industry is expected to reach £920m by 2021.
Currently employing 120 staff, three-year-old Symphony has clients in more than 21 countries spanning the financial services, telecommunications, healthcare, logistics and public sectors. It plans to introduce an “innovation lab” which will look at how RPA and other technologies can be implemented, and hopes to develop training programmes for enterprises to scale their own RPA teams.
“Businesses understand the great benefits the technology can offer, but lack the know-how to effectively select and manage solutions so that they deliver the greatest return based on their specific goals and applications. As a result, demand for skilled expertise from RPA specialists like Symphony Ventures is unprecedented,” said HfS Research's Phil Fersht.