Beijing, June 27, 2019
Laiye announces that it has closed its Series B+ financing round with US$35 million led by Cathay Innovation. Existing investors, Wu Capital and Lightspeed China Partners (LCP) also participated in this round. Laiye also launched its RPA product line UiBot from its earlier merger with Awesome Technology to charge into the RPA+AI market.
“Digital workforce will be part of every enterprise, while Robotic Process Automation (RPA) will serve as the infrastructure for automation and artificial intelligence (AI) applications. The core team behind UiBot has unparalleled product development and operational experience in RPA and has built the largest RPA community in China in the past 18 years,”Guanchun Wang, Chairman and CEO of Laiye said, adding that “The synergy between Laiye’s existing AI capabilities, including our chatbot platform product Wulai, and UiBot will allow customers to build bots with both brains and hands so as to significantly improve operational efficiency and reduce labor costs.”
“After launching UiBot in January this year, we have amassed over 300,000 downloads and 6,000 registered enterprise users. Now we are working with Laiye to build the world’s leading RPA+AI platform. It will surely be an exciting entrepreneurial journey,” according to Li Wei, former CEO of Uibot and now co-CEO & President of Laiye.
The lead investor of this round, Cathay Innovation, also known as a unique global cross-border investment platform, is committed to supporting visionary entrepreneurs and their executive teams. “I am very positive about Laiye’s vision and technological innovation. I believe that Laiye’s bot platforms and applications will play a significant role in the age of AI transformation for every enterprise. Cathay Innovation will continue to promote collaboration between the fund’s global strategic investor base and Laiye,” Denis Barrier, Co-founder and CEO of Cathay Innovation, said.
Wu Capital, a family office fund that led Laiye’s B round, has been paying close attention to Laiye’s leading role in the digital transformation of traditional industries. “We are pleased to see that Laiye has been continuously expanding their customer base and product innovation with their innovative technology. Smart bots are really starting to improve the efficiency of customer and sales management,” said Rita Zhang, CEO of Wu Capital.
As the founding partner of Lightspeed China, James Mi has been a backer of Laiye in every financing round since Pre-A and has witnessed the rapid evolution of the team. He said, “It’s a pleasure to see that Laiye continues to attract world-class talents to join its forces. This strong combination of RPA and AI will greatly enhance Laiye’s enterprise bot product and solution offerings. I believe that the team’s steady efforts in expanding its product lines and services will surely be recognized by the market.”
Dr. Hsiao-Wuen Hon, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft, Chairman of Microsoft’s Asia-Pacific R&D Group, and Managing Director of Microsoft Research Asia, also affirms the success and reputation of Laiye as a valued Azure partner in chatbots and foresees the possibility of a deeper collaboration between Laiye and Microsoft in the space of RPA+AI.
It is reported that Laiye’s $35M B+ Round Financing is by far the largest in China’s RPA+AI market. The funds obtained will be mainly used for recruiting talents for the R&D and sales of RPA products. The company will also expand its AI capabilities beyond natural language processing, deep learning, and reinforcement learning, and accelerate the commercialization of smart-robot solutions across industries. The whole team at Laiye firmly believes that RPA+AI will help every enterprise realize the potential of human-machine collaboration in this age of artificial intelligence and help each employee to expand their capabilities and improve efficiency, so that the human creativity and innovation can be further unleashed.