Kognitos raises $35M to help businesses automate back-office processes

Businesses never (pardon the double negative) push to improve efficiency. This is their commercial imperative. Sometimes, that takes the form of budget cuts. Other times, it’s more serious — eg layoffs or hiring freezes.

But Binny Gill, the co-founder of Cognition, makes the case that companies can have their cake and eat it too – eliminating inefficiencies without having to make hard choices. How? By automating business processes — which, wouldn’t you know, is the core function of Kognitos.

“The pandemic has created a widespread ripple effect in the supply chain that has caused many businesses to struggle with limited resources, rising costs and restrictive work environments,” Gill said. “This is forcing many organizations to take a long, hard look at existing inefficiencies in their business processes, and recognize the importance of adopting new technology – including the power of AI, to improving productivity, agility and resilience.”

Wait, you might say – isn’t automation always eliminating jobs? Well, yes. A 2016 study It is predicted that robotic process automation (RPA), a type of automation that uses software “bots” to automate back-office tasks, will enable as many as 16% of the roles to be added to 2025.

On the other hand, job losses from automation can be offset by a retiring older workforce and gig economy gains (which aren’t necessarily better than full-time job earnings… And, people like Gill argue, automation can lead to stronger employee satisfaction and engagement, because automation technologies tend to make mundane and repetitive tasks less difficult. inspiring – or satisfying.

Gill, formerly a researcher at IBM and the CTO of Nutanix, founded Kognitos in 2020 – inspired by an experience he had with his family during the pandemic. As Gill’s son tries to program a tic-tac-toe game in Python, Gill finds himself questioning why his son had to learn programming in the first place.

“What if, instead of forcing humans to learn the language of machines, machines could learn and understand human language?,” Gill said. “To make this vision a reality, I launched Kognitos, which allows business users to automate tasks in plain English.”

Kognitos competes with incumbent RPA platforms such as UiPath and Automation Anywhere as well as newcomers such as Adept. But Gill asserts that Kognitos is more sophisticated — and intuitive — than many automation products out there. For example, he said, the platform can translate English instructions into workflow automation, automatically flag errors in workflows so that a user can correct them and they become better over time.

“No matter what kind of content case or exception is hit, the business user can always understand and manage the issue without needing IT or developer help,” Gill said. “The system learns from the business user – with permission from the user – and improves the experience with each new scenario encountered.”

Today, Kognitos can automate tasks that touch a range of markets and modalities, such as voice transcription, light image editing, QR code scanning, creating data visualizations and filling out PDF forms.

Most businesses have hundreds of business processes that involve carefully checking documents or emails, performing some validations, processing some data and updating record systems such as management in a business resource or customer relationship management system,” Gill said. “QThe Kognitos solution was created for the business process expert who defines the business processes of a company and for business employees in general, who – in the absence of automation – find themselves manually -mano to do things. Users with mid-level technical ability can use the Kognitos interface with no coding experience required. “

Investors see the potential, it seems. Kognitos today announced that it has raised $30 million in a funding round led by Khosla Ventures with participation from Clear Ventures, Engineering Capital and Wipro Ventures. Bringing the 35-person company’s total funding to $30 million, co-founder and CEO Binny Gill says it will be put toward product development and expanding Kognitos’ third-party partnerships and integrations. party business applications.

It probably helped sweeten the deal that Kognitos had big companies like PepsiCo and Wipro using its products. Gill wouldn’t talk about revenue or profits, though.

“Despite the ongoing slowdown in the tech sector, the roles of people and technology in business are undergoing a dramatic change,” Gill said. “(Kognitos’) unique value proposition will propel Kognitos through the current slowdown into the next era of technology revolution.”

Leave a comment