Georgian Partners Invests in WorkFusion
A few weeks back, Georgian Partners led a $35 million Series D investment into New York City-based WorkFusion, the leading provider of intelligent automation solutions that enable businesses to digitize, streamline and optimize their business processes. In this post, I’d like to share some of the background story about that investment.
Automating the work of traditional business processes has evolved over the last few decades, starting in the 1970s and 1980s when scanning and optical character recognition (OCR) technology began making it possible to digitize paper-based systems. The next turn of the crank brought us business process management software, which made it possible to manage people-centric processes. Then came robotic process automation (RPA), which brought people, processes and multiple operating systems together.
Suddenly a bill payment process that had previously required a worker to move between multiple operating systems and paper documents, entering in amounts and billing codes, became much faster. Whereas the process would have historically taken 10 minutes to complete, by deploying a bot that worked between systems, RPA technology could cut the time required to complete the task by up to 50 percent.
While each of the advances I mentioned above were significant at the time, much more meaningful changes are expected going forward. In fact, McKinsey estimates that the combination of existing technologies and the most recent advances could digitize up to 45 percent of current work processes. And while job automation is commonly associated with job reduction, we know from past waves of automation that new job classes, as well as increased job satisfaction, can be expected.
In WorkFusion we saw a business ready to help companies take the next leap in the automation and improvement of business processes. WorkFusion’s team has developed an enterprise-scale platform that combines existing RPA technology with machine learning capabilities to enable a greatly expanded set of business use cases. Whereas traditional RPA applied to a work process could offer ROI of up to 40 to 50 percent, WorkFusion can push this frontier of automation to 70 or 80 percent by automating a greater percentage of activities.
One major difference in WorkFusion’s approach to RPA is that rather than hard-coded bots performing a task, it uses machine learning to dynamically learn and automate workflows through historical data and real-time human activites. This allows the company to simultaneously draw insights about the workforce and the process. While RPA has been effective at automating structured data work such as operating legacy applications, WorkFusion’s products can be applied to more complex, high-value processes like fraud detection and claims handling that include unstructured data. Plus, their integration of natural language processing into the core platform allows users to automate customer conversations in service centers through chatbots.
From our first meetings with WorkFusion’s leadership team, we were excited by the company’s ability to leverage applied artificial intelligence and conversational business to solve practical business problems at enterprise scale. Max, Andrew and Alex’s ability to drive the company into a global business spanning multiple industries in just a few years is remarkable, and we look forward to working with them on the next chapter of the WorkFusion story.