Rossum, the artificial intelligence company that is re-inventing the way businesses send documents to each other, has raised $100m from one of the US's best known funds, General Catalyst in what is Eastern Europe's largest ever Series A. Previous investors, including LocalGlobe, Seedcamp, Miton and Elad Gil are participating, as Rossum looks to capitalise on surging corporate demand for automation in business processes.
Having rapidly secured market leadership in document AI technology and become the go-to software for many of Europe's biggest companies, Rossum is creating a universal document gateway designed to help the corporate world move faster and complete transactions in minutes not weeks. Rossum's founders, three PhD students who dropped out of university to start the business, are automating the whole business communication stack with a view to making bureaucratic, costly and time-consuming document communication frictionless and paperless.
Rossum has seen year-on-year growth of five times in the last 12 months, as established businesses and startups have woken up to the impact that Robotic Process Automation can make to their productivity and resourcing. The company's vision of making B2B document communication frictionless, forever, has strongly resonated with businesses large and small who use the AI-based B2B platform to exchange and process all sorts of documents, seamlessly, without overhauling the existing infrastructure of email and PDF documents.
Corporate appetite for automation soars
Over 150 of Europe's biggest and fastest growing companies including Bosch, Siemens, Veolia, EY and Adyen are using the platform to exchange and process documents such as invoices, purchase orders, quotations, financial statements and customs declarations. The cloud-based document gateway frees up human teams from onerous data entry work, links all related documents in a transaction, keeps transactions on timetable with automated data flows and integrates documents with other enterprises systems, including SAP and Oracle.
While enterprise RPA focuses on internal processes, Rossum is pioneering the automation of cross-company processes - something that was immensely challenging without advanced AI technology. Enabling the flow of documentation between companies frees up a massive amount of manpower, which has previously been devoted to tedious and soul-destroying manual document processing. Rossum estimates that its systems save its users typically over 90% of the manual work.
The $100 million funding will be used to hire more high skill engineering and AI talent at Rossum, which is seeing particularly strong demand for its products in North America, Western Europe and the Asia Pacific region. The funds will also be used to open new company hubs in the US, Europe and Asia and plans to open a research center in Prague, dedicated to B2B document communication, in co-operation with Czech universities.
Single unified enterprise solution
Rossum is investing heavily in product development, demonstrating that its AI technology leadership can apply to a wide range of use cases. While its mission of frictionless AI-enabled data capture remains central to Rossum's software, the company is gradually automating the whole business communication stack, creating a single unified enterprise solution for communication between businesses.
The next stage of Rossum's journey will see it expand its product and partner ecosystem around specific verticals including finance, logistics, insurance and order management. It is establishing a universal document gateway capable of handling the whole range of processes and document types of each industry. Processes from fraud detection at the start of a transaction, to approvals at the end will be built into the platform's workflows.
"There is a hidden opportunity in the fact that every single product in the world requires hundreds of companies to cooperate, and that produces thousands of transactions. As market leaders in document AI technology, we are in a unique position to transform the way these transactions are communicated and processed. Rossum already saved billions of keystrokes in data entry for our clients. Now we are saving people's time across the whole process of transaction handling by building an end-to-end business communication platform. Businesses large and small are waking up to the huge gains that they will make from such a system and they trust us to deliver it," Tomas Gogar, Rossum's CEO, said.
"Rossum spotted a problem that is so ubiquitous that we rarely even think about it. The founders realized the massive hidden opportunity, and created a disruptive solution based on an entirely new deep technology. Rossum is still early on its journey, but it has already grown into a company with worldwide reach that has had a tremendous impact on global enterprise customers," said Trevor Oelschig, Managing Director at General Catalyst.
"It is remarkable that three AI scientists from Prague dropped out from academia to start a business and five years later they are leading a company of 140, serving some of the world's top brands and building something exceptional. The storylines of lightning speed growth like UiPath, Celonis and now Rossum show how the CEE region is becoming a true global powerhouse of AI and Automation. Again and again, we see the combination of great business ambition and deep technical skill from this region," said Reshma Sohoni, founding partner at Seedcamp.
"Rossum is on the cusp of an enormous market opportunity. Documents of all forms are the lifeblood of business-to-business communication, and every company in the world will want to automate this process sooner or later and Rossum is perfectly positioned to meet this need. Its world-leading AI technology for cognitive data capture means that Rossum adopters do not need to coordinate with their business partners to automate this communication," said Mish Mashkautsan, General Partner, at LocalGlobe and Latitude.
Founded in 2016 by AI PhD students Tomas Gogar, Petr Baudis and Tomas Tunys who dropped out of university to start the business, all three were named among Financial Times' New Europe 100 Challengers and Gogar was named in Forbes' 30 under 30 list. Baudis' PhD work is also credited in Google's scientific paper on its historic AlphaGo AI victory in 2016.
Rossum has previously raised $9.5M in total and the existing investors also participate in the current round. Rossum's customers include Cushman & Wakefield, BDO, Suez and PwC, while its technology is embedded in modern business technology providers such as Celonis or Flexport.
Rossum has been named one of the most promising European cloud companies in the Accel Euroscape two years in a row, and listed in the CB Insights' annual selection of the 100 most promising private AI companies in the world. Everest Group rated Rossum a ?Star Performer' for 2020 with regards to its market impact in the document processing space.
Jana Vlkova, Head of Accounts Payable, PepsiCo, CEE, said: "We had a never-ending backlog before we implemented Rossum. Now, we can always complete our work on time."
Michal Cipa, IT Manager , Cosco Shipping Line, said: "All our invoices are going through Rossum; I can't imagine our paperless AP process functioning without it."
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Rossum is eliminating useless paperwork by automating business communication. Thousands of lifetimes per day are burned on manually dealing with documents in enterprise back offices - it's a terrible job, and it makes the whole world go slower. Rossum's proprietary AI engine outranks narrow data extraction solutions in accuracy and saves its users typically over 90% of the manual work. Rossum serves hundreds of the world's best companies ranging from business software vendors like Celonis to Fortune 500 class enterprises such as Bosch, Cushman & Wakefield, COSCO Shipping, Delivery Hero, Deloitte, EY, K+S, Molson Coors, PepsiCo, Siemens, Suez and Veolia. Rossum is funded by the top venture capital funds in London and the most experienced Silicon Valley angels and has already saved over five billion keystrokes globally.
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