Automation Anywhere, a maker of robotics software, secured its second massive investment in a year, the latest evidence of investors’ appetite for artificial intelligence-enabled robotics technology.

Salesforce Ventures, the investment arm of software giant Salesforce, led the $290 million Series B round, which also included Goldman Sachs and Softbank Investment Advisors. 

Automation Anywhere’s AI-enabled software, called robotics process automation, helps companies in financial services, manufacturing, healthcare and other industries increase efficiency and lower costs. For example, its programs can replace the manual tasks in an insurer’s payment processing.

“This new funding reinforces the promise of the RPA category,” Mihir Shukla, Automation Anywhere’s CEO and co-founder said in a statement. The company says it’s valued at $6.8 billion. 

Along with Goldman Sachs and Softbank Investment World Innovation Lab, Workday Ventures and other notable venture firms participated in the participated in the $550 million A-round,

Venture investing in AI-enabled software and workflow software has already reached $5.28 billion this year, a 10-fold increase from 2016, according to PitchBook. This increase dovetails with growing use of robotics. 

  • A 2018 Deloitte survey found that about seven in 10 companies will be increasing their investment in this technology. The report predicted that at the current rate “RPA will have achieved near-universal adoption” within five years. 
  • Private equity firms have invested in only six RPA deals since 2012, but one of them was KKR’s massive $8.5 billion buyout of BMC Software in October 2018.