Current State of the RPA Industry
The Robotics Process Automation (RPA) industry recently grabbed headlines when Microsoft announced its acquisition of Softomotive, an up-and-coming RPA startup, in May 2020. Based in the United Kingdom, Softomotive raised US$25 million in 2018 and has since expanded its footprint to different parts of the Asia-Pacific region and the United States. This acquisition enables Microsoft to incorporate Softomotive’s enterprise automation tool together with the existing Microsoft Power Automate solution. Prior to the acquisition, Microsoft’s automation features were mainly exclusive to its Microsoft 365 for Business ecosystem. The acquisition of Softomotive will allow Microsoft to expand and provide vendor-agnostic automation tools.
The acquisition is generally viewed as a good catch given the current hype in valuation among RPA startups. For instance, two leading RPA firms, UiPath and Automation Anywhere, have raised US$1 billion and US$840 million from the private equity market and are being valued at US$7 billion and US$6.8 billion, respectively. Meanwhile, U.K.-based Blue …
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