Kognitos reels in $20M for its natural language task automation platform
Task automation startup Kognitos Inc. today announced that it has closed a $20 million Series A funding round led by Khosla Ventures.
Existing backers Clear Ventures, Engineering Capital and Wipro Ventures chipped in as well. The new investment brings Kognitos’ total outside funding to $30 million.
Many enterprises use RPA, or robotic process automation, tools to automate repetitive business tasks for employees. RPA tools provide the ability to create software workflows that can observe how workers carry out a given task in an application and learn to perform it automatically. Often, building such workflows requires writing custom code.
San Jose, California-based Kognitos offers a software platform that makes it possible to create automation workflows with natural language instructions instead of code. The company claims its platform can speed up automation initiatives by weeks. Moreover, the fact that there’s no need for coding expertise simplifies the task of troubleshooting technical issues.
To create a Kognitos workflow that performs a series of actions in a business application, workers must enter a brief plain-English description of each action. It’s also possible to create workflows that interact with multiple applications. To ensure the specified task is performed reliably, users can upload a few examples that explain how to carry it out.
One use case Kognitos is targeting with the platform is document processing. According to the company, its platform can carry out multistep tasks such as extracting key details from a document stored in a cloud storage service and sending those details to a business application. If Kognitos receives a file that is difficult to process, it doesn’t skip the task but rather asks the user for pointers.
The company announced its new funding round today in conjunction with the release of a major platform update. Automation workflows created with Kognitos can now compare and edit images, transcribe speech and read QR codes. In the data management department, the platform is gaining the ability to autofill information into PDF documents and visualize business metrics.
“For the last few decades we have been forcing humans to learn the language of the machine through various no-code, low code and RPA platforms,” said Kognitos Chief Executive Officer Binny Gill, who founded the company in 2020 after a stint as Nutanix Inc.’s chief technology officer for cloud services. “The time has come for the machine to natively understand plain English.”
Kognitos says its installed base includes several major enterprises including PepsiCo Inc. and Wipro Ltd. To draw more customers, the company plans to invest the proceeds from its new funding round into new feature development. One goal of the engineering effort is to expand the number of applications with which users’ automation workflows can interact.
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