Startup Skan Inc., which helps enterprises make their business operations more efficient, today said that it has closed a $40 million funding round led by Dell Technologies Inc.’s venture capital arm.
Skan has raised a total of $54 million from investors since launching in 2019.
Enterprises are adopting robotic process automation software from companies such as UiPath Inc. to help them increase operational efficiency. RPA software uses artificial intelligence to automatically perform manual business chores usually carried out by a firm’s employees. Automating manual processes reduces the risk of human error while saving time for workers.
Before an enterprise can use RPA software to automate manual business workflows, it has to determine what task should be automated and how. This is often a difficult process because a large company may have upwards of thousands of manual chores that could be automated with RPA tools. Executives have to determine what chores should be automated first, then find the optimal way of automating them.
Menlo Park, California-based Skan has developed a so-called process intelligence platform that helps companies plan RPA initiatives. The platform uses AI to observe how workers perform a given task in a business application. Skan then creates a map of every step involved in the task, which executives can consult to determine which steps should be automated using RPA software and how.
Skan says its platform can map out complex business workflows that involve multiple teams and applications. In addition to describing the steps that comprise a task, the startup’s platform provides information on whether the task could be streamlined with RPA software. The platform automatically estimates how practical it would be to streamline a business process using RPA tools, according to Skan.
The company says that its technology can help accelerate RPA initiatives. Usually, determining what business workflows should be automated and how requires a time-consuming manual review of a company’s operations. Skan says its platform reduces the need for complex manual reviews, thereby compressing a task that usually takes months into a few weeks.
There are other software tools on the market that promise to help companies find opportunities to automate manual business tasks. According to Skan, those tools often have to be manually integrated with an organization’s business systems, a process that sometimes requires writing custom code. Skan says its platform can be deployed without any complex manual integrations.
“Skan is disrupting a $100 billion industry that has largely relied on manual human observation with computer vision and AI capabilities to deliver unprecedented levels of real-time insight for operational leaders,” said Skan co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Avinash Misra.
Speeding up RPA projects is not the only use case that the startup targets. According to Skan, its platform is also useful for evaluating how changes to a business process affect operational efficiency. Companies can use the platform to measure the effectiveness of RPA projects, as well as evaluate the impact of other business initiatives.
Skan says its platform is used by more than 20 enterprises across the financial services, healthcare and insurance sectors, including several Fortune 500 companies. One Skan customer, Citigroup Inc., invested in the startup as part of the $40 million funding round it announced today. Skan plans to use the new funding to continue expanding customer adoption of its platform.