Automation Alley Industry 4.0 Accelerator Adds New Manufacturing, Tech Partners – mitechnews.com

Automation Alley Industry 4.0 Accelerator Adds New Manufacturing, Tech Partners  mitechnews.com
“startups when:1d” – Google News

Airtable raises $185M and launches new low-code and automation features

The spreadsheet-centric database and no-code platform Airtable today announced that it has raised a $ 185 million Series D funding round, putting the company at a $ 2.585 billion post-money valuation.

Thrive Capital led the round, with additional funding by existing investors Benchmark, Coatue, Caffeinated Capital and CRV, as well as new investor D1 Capital. With this, Airtable, which says it now has 200,000 companies using its service, has raised a total of about $ 350 million. Current customers include Netflix, HBO, Condé Nast Entertainment, TIME, City of Los Angeles, MIT Media Lab and IBM.

In addition, the company is also launching one of its largest feature updates today, which start to execute on the company’s overall platform vision that goes beyond its current no-code capabilities and bring more low-code features, as well new automation (think IFTTT for Airtable) and data management tools to the service.

As Airtable founder and CEO Howie Liu told me, a number of investors approached the company since it raised its Series C round in 2018, in part because the market clearly realized the potential size of the low-code/no-code market.

“I think there’s this increasing market recognition that the space is real, and the spaces is very large […],” he told me. “While we didn’t strictly need the funding, it allowed us to continue to invest aggressively into furthering our platform, vision and really executing aggressively, […] without having to worry about, ‘well, what happens with COVID?’ There’s a lot of uncertainty, right? And I think even today there’s still a lot of uncertainty about what the next year will bear.”

The company started opening the round a couple of months after the first shelter in place orders in California and for most investors, this was a purely digital process.

Liu has always been open about the fact that he wants to build this company for the long haul — especially after he sold his last company to Salesforce at an early stage. As a founder, that likely means he is trying to keep his stake in the company high, even as Airtable continues to raise more money. He argues, though, that more so than the legal and structural controls, being aligned with his investors is what matters most.

“I think actually, what’s more important in my view, is having philosophical alignment and expectations alignment with the investors,” he said. “Because I don’t want to be in a position where it comes down to a legal right or structural debate over the future of the company. That almost feels to me like the last resort where it’s already gotten to a place where things are ugly. I’d much rather be in a position where all the investors around the table, whether they have legal say or not, are fully aligned with what we’re trying to do with this business.”

Just as important as the new funding though, are the various new features the company is launching today. Maybe the most important of these is Airtable Apps. Previously, Airtable users could use pre-built blocks to add maps, Gantt charts and other features to their tables. But while being a no-code service surely helped Airtable’s users get started, there’s always an inevitable point where the pre-built functionality just isn’t enough and users need more custom tools (Liu calls this an escape valve). So with Airtable Apps, more sophisticated users can now build additional functionality in JavaScript — and if they choose to do so, they can then share those new capabilities with other users in the new Airtable Marketplace.

Image Credits: Airtable

“You may or may not need an escape valve and obviously, we’ve gotten this far with 200,000 organizations using Airtable without that kind of escape valve,” he noted. “But I think that we open up a lot more use cases when you can say, well, Airtable by itself is 99% there, but that last 1% is make or break. You need it. And then, just having that outlet and making it much more leveraged to build that use case on Airtable with 1% effort, rather than building the full-stack application as a custom built application is all the difference.”

Image Credits: Airtable

The other major new feature is Airtable Automations. With this, you can build custom, automated workflows to generate reports or perform other repetitive steps. You can do a lot of that through the service’s graphical interface or use JavaScript to build you own custom flows and integrations, too. For now, this feature is available for free, but the team is looking into how to charge for it over time, given that these automated flows may become costly if you run them often.

The last new feature is Airtable Sync. With this, teams can more easily share data across an organization, while also providing controls for who can see what. “The goal is to enable people who built software with Airtable to make that software interconnected and to be able to share a source of truth table between different instances of our tables,” Liu explained.

Image Credits: Airtable

Startups – TechCrunch

[Kryon in PR Newswire] Kryon Launches Market-first Real-time Process Discovery to Bolster its Full-Cycle Automation Solution

Kryon, the leading full-cycle automation solution provider known for its customer-centric approach to robotic process automation (RPA) and process discovery, is announcing first-to-market real-time process discovery. Real-time Kryon Process Discovery (version 20.9) further strengthens the Full-Cycle Automation Suite by enabling enterprises to swiftly identify business processes across the entire organization, and then implement thousands of robots to scale up automation.

Read more here.

The post [Kryon in PR Newswire] Kryon Launches Market-first Real-time Process Discovery to Bolster its Full-Cycle Automation Solution appeared first on OurCrowd Blog.

OurCrowd Blog

Progress snags software automation platform Chef for $220M

Progress, a Boston area developer tool company, boosted its offerings in a big way today when it announced it was acquiring software automation platform Chef for $ 220 million.

Chef, which went 100% open source last year, had annual recurring revenue (ARR) of $ 70 million from the commercial side of the house. Needless to say, Progress CEO Yogesh Gupta was happy to bring the company into the fold and gain not only that revenue, but a set of highly skilled employees, a strong developer community and an impressive customer list.

Gupta said that Chef fits with his company’s acquisition philosophy. “This acquisition perfectly aligns with our growth strategy and meets the requirements that we’ve previously laid out: a strong recurring revenue model, technology that complements our business, a loyal customer base and the ability to leverage our operating model and infrastructure to run the business more efficiently,” he said in a statement.

Chef CEO Barry Crist offered a typical argument for an acquired company, that Progress offered  a better path to future growth, while sending a message to the open source community and customers that Progress would be a good steward of the startup’s vision.

“For Chef, this acquisition is our next chapter, and Progress will help enhance our growth potential, support our Open Source vision, and provide broader opportunities for our customers, partners, employees and community,” Crist said in a statement.

Chef’s customer list is certainly impressive including tech industry stalwarts like Facebook, IBM and SAP, as well as non-tech companies like Nordstrom, Alaska Airlines and Capital One.

The company was founded in 2008 and had raised $ 105 million. according to Crunchbase data. It hadn’t raised any funds since 2015 when it raised a $ 40 million Series E led by DFJ Growth. Other investors along the way included Battery Ventures, Ignition Partners and Scale Venture Partners.

The transaction is expected to close next month pending normal regulatory approvals.

Startups – TechCrunch

Any others in the Industrial Automation Industry?

Im considering starting an industry automation integration company. Would love advice!

My background: I’ve got a great deal of experience in PID controls and logic for high precision hydraulics. My background is in electrical engineering but I’ve done a bit of sales as well.

What I’m looking for: I’d love to find others to compliment my skill set and help start a successful automation integration company. Sales, mechanical/hydraulic engineering, electricians, really anyone willing to work hard and can bring a new skill set to the party.

I’ve got a fair number of contacts in the industry and have been considering venturing out on my own but would like to make the jump with others to provide a more holistic service from the get-go.

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Interesting talk from Guy Kirkwood (UiPath), automation and scaling tips for startups!

https://youtu.be/HYgp7KBW6y4

Guy Kirkwood is the Chief Evangelist of UiPath (startup turned unicorn)

UiPath is on the Forbes AI 50; a CNBC Disruptor 50 (one of only three B2B firms); the #1 tech (and #2 overall) enterprise in the FT rankings; and #1 in the Deloitte Fast 500. It is the fastest-growing enterprise software company in history.

00:00 Introduction to being an Evangelist and intro for UiPath

05:42 Career path to UiPath

15:09 Automation and People, & System to system interaction

23:42 restructuring and scaling expansion From coo to chief evangelist

30:40 b2b target/clients and a freemium model &

41:32 self-learning robots

42:02 How can small businesses use UiPath automation?

49:36 Automation not costing people's jobs

57:32 The future of automation and labour

01:14:56 UiPath during scaling

01:20:24 How can new founders get in touch with analysts?

01:25:26 Career history starting from uni, proofreading, army and more

01:38:20 Most important learning points

01:40:58 Biggest unexpected failures and learning lessons

01:43:46 Why is marketing so important? 01.48.00 Biggest project with the most impact

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Clusterzap, Marketing Automation Player Powered by AI Wins TiE50 Award at TiEcon 2020 – Outlook India

Clusterzap, Marketing Automation Player Powered by AI Wins TiE50 Award at TiEcon 2020  Outlook India
“startups when:1d” – Google News

Investment in agricultural automation increases as farmers look to offset labor shortages – Robotics and Automation News

Investment in agricultural automation increases as farmers look to offset labor shortages  Robotics and Automation News
“startups when:1d” – Google News

Dealroom: VC investment in farm automation startups is up 40% year-to-date, amid a shortage of agricultural workers during the pandemic (Emiko Terazono/Financial Times) – Up News Info

Dealroom: VC investment in farm automation startups is up 40% year-to-date, amid a shortage of agricultural workers during the pandemic (Emiko Terazono/Financial Times)  Up News Info
“startups when:1d” – Google News