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- Robotic process automation is the fast growing market for software used to automate routine, common computer tasks.
- RPA, as it is referred to, has become a hot market where major startups led by UiPath and Automation Anywhere are facing off with tech giants such as Microsoft.
- Here are the 6 top RPA companies according to a survey of IT professionals who use the technology.
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Just a few years ago, robotic process automation was a small, little known market for software that helped businesses automate routine, even boring computer tasks.
But today, RPA, as the technology is known, is one of the hottest sectors in tech, which appears to be growing even faster during the coronavirus crisis.
This week, UiPath, one of the top RPA players, said it had raised $225 million in a Series E round, boosting its valuation to $10.2 billion. Rival Automation Anywhere, another startup valued at $7 billion, said it was looking to expand aggressively, just two months after being forced to cut jobs.
Technology’s major players are also making moves in the RPA arena. Microsoft announced in May that it bought Softomotive, another RPA firm. This was followed a few weeks later by IBM’s own announcement that it had acquired WDG Automation of Brazil.
IT Central Station, the review site where IT professionals are able to weigh in on the software they use, recently conducted a survey on RPA tools. You can read more about IT Central Station’s methodology at the end of this story.
Here are the top robotic process automation companies, according to IT professionals on IT Central Station.
Options trading UiPath
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Ranking score: 86
Most compared to: Automation Anywhere, Microsoft Power Automate, Blue Prism
UiPath was founded in Bucharest, Romania in 2005 as a tech company that created automation scripts. This was before the rise of robotic process automation. In fact, UiPath says it stumbled upon the market after a customer told them that they’ve been using the software to automate their processes. UiPath quickly became the leading provider of RPA tools. Despite a rocky 2019, when the company was forced tocut 400 jobs which coincided with the sudden departure of its well-regarded CFO Marie Myers, UiPath appeared to be back on track, especially with its recent monster funding and $10.2 billion valuation. CEO Daniel Dines recently told Business Insider the startup is eyeing an IPO in early 2021. UiPath has raised $1.2 billion from investors, including Sequoia and Accel.
Options trading Automation Anywhere
Rating: 4.0 out of 5
Ranking score: 74
Most compared to: UiPath, Blue Prism, Microsoft Power Automate
Automation Anywhere, which is based in San Jose, California, was founded in 2003. Like archrival UiPath, it is considered one of the hottest tech startups today, having raised more than $800 million ata valuation of $6.8 billion. The coronavirus crisis forced Automation Anywhere tocut jobs earlier this year. But the company has bounced back, and has begun hiring for positions focused on cloud-based products.
Options trading Blue Prism
Rating: 3.8 out of 5
Ranking score: 45
Most compared to: UiPath, Microsoft Power Automate, Pega Robotic Process Automation
Blue Prism, which is based in Warrington, UK, was founded in 2011 and has about 1,000 employees and more than 1,500 customers worldwide. The publicly-traded company, with a market cap of $1.3 billion, is considered the pioneer of RPA. In fact Pat Geary, its chief technology evangelist, is credited with first coining the term “robotic process automation.”
Blue Prism expanded its reach in the RPA market late last year when it acquired Thoughtonomy, which also is rated high on the IT Central Station survey.
Options trading Kryon
Rating: 4.2 out of 5
Ranking score: 41
Most compared to: UiPath, NNT-AT WinActor, EdgeVerve AssitEdge RPA
Founded in 2008, Kryon is based in Tel Aviv, Israel, and New York City. Gartner’s report on robotic processing automation cited Kryon’s “strong capabilities around process/task discovery…based on captured keystrokes, mouse clicks, data inputs and outputs of business users.” Kryon has raised $53 million from investors, including Vertex Ventures.
Options trading VisualCron
Rating: 4.9 out of 5
Ranking score: 25
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Most compared to: WinAutomation by Softmotive, UiPath
Founded in 2005, VisualCron is a privately-held tech company based in Sweden. The company’s technology is a widely-known tool for the Windows platform. VisualCron features easy to use interface and boasts that it requires no programming skills to use.
Options trading Microsoft
Rating: 3.8 out of 5
Ranking score: 21
Most compared to: UiPath, Automation Anywhere, Blue Prism
Microsoft has been moving to strengthen its cloud offerings which includes RPA tools. Acquiring Softmotive was a big step in this process. “Microsoft is further democratizing RPA and enabling everyone to create bots to automate manual business processes,” the company said in a blog post announcing the deal. The acquisition also meant stiffer competition for RPA market leaders, led by UiPath and Automation Anywhere.
Options trading Here’s IT Central Station’s ranking criteria, for the curious:
IT Central Station computes a ranking score for each product based on a composite of:
- number of reviews’ average star rating
- number of times the product has been compared to alternative solutions
- number of views of reviews
- number of followers on IT Central Station.
The total ranking of a product is based on a weighted aggregate score. The score is calculated as follows: The product with the highest count in each area gets the highest available score. (Twenty points for reviews; 16 points for views, comparisons, and followers.) Every other product gets assigned points based on its total in proportion to the No. 1 product in that area.
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