Contrarian Investments (Sometimes) Win
Automation has been a common theme for many of Jump Capital investments and we believe that the next decade will be the golden age in terms of unlocking significant value through Enterprise Automation.
The history of Automation probably dates all the way back to 420 BCE when Greek engineers developed rudimentary automaton propelled by compressed air, steam, and hydraulics for religious and ceremonial purposes. The Greek philosopher Aristotle quite impressively imagined the utility of robots, writing: "If every tool, when ordered, or even of its own accord, could do the work that befits it… then there would be no need either of apprentices for the master workers or of slaves for the lords."
Although we have come a long way since that imagination and have made huge strides in the field of automation through software and hardware evolution, we are still in our journey to replicate human cognition in an enterprise setting. The last few years we have witnessed an explosion of data and different approaches to automate business processes. These approaches are either software-driven click bots to replicate human action for commodity tasks (i:e “Robotics Process Automation” or RPA) or require structured data / content to deliver some level of automation. However, unstructured content that accounts for almost 80-85% of enterprise data, simply cannot be automated using these approaches. Unstructured content processing requires judgement and manual intervention which leads to long turnaround times, high cost of operations and high error rates. It has been a challenge to deploy a scalable automation solution for unstructured content without throwing people at the problem, but at the same time there is an enormous value to be unlocked for enterprises. This is where Indico shines.
We are excited to announce that we led the Series B round in Indico, the leader in Intelligent Process Automation. Leveraging their strong backgrounds in deep learning and transfer learning, the team has built a comprehensive platform to deliver automation workflows that rely on structured, semi-structured and unstructured document extraction. As we talked to Indico’s Fortune 500 customers who have successfully deployed their solution at scale, we learned key differentiating aspects of Indico’s platform that convinced us that they are poised to dominate the Intelligent Automation space.
To deliver such an enterprise-grade product, a company needs to have a combination of seasoned leadership and best in class technology. We were lucky to find that with Tom as the CEO and Slater as the CTO of the business. Tom is a seasoned product-oriented CEO who has been exceptional at navigating stakeholder management for these large and complex deployments. Slater is a brilliant technologist at the forefront of deep learning and transfer learning for years. They have further surrounded themselves with advisors like Alec Radford (OpenAI researcher and one of the original contributors to GPT model) and Venkat Varadachary (Former Chief Data & Analytics Officer at American Express)
We are also excited to partner with a great syndicate in this round: Sandbox Insurtech Ventures - who provide a global perspective on insurance innovation; Nationwide Ventures – Nationwide’s venture arm; and existing investors - .406 ventures and Osage Venture Partners.
We are still in the early innings of enterprise automation and we believe that Indico will play a huge part in the next era of value creation.