UiPath partner companies will soon be able to apply for funding from a $20 million investment pool the robotic process automation software vendor has established.
The company, based in New York, aims to accelerate RPA and AI adoption as it invests in its partners with an eye toward 2019. The investment dollars will be available from two funds: the UiPath Venture Innovation Fund and the UiPath Partner Acceleration Fund. The venture innovation fund will invest in AI-focused partners that have expertise in machine learning, business process management, process mining and intelligence, according to the company. Chatbot companies and startups that have committed to making integration with UiPath faster and easier also fall within the fund’s scope.
The partner acceleration fund, meanwhile, targets global UiPath partner firms that support automation and AI across go-to-market and enablement activities, and accelerate enterprise RPA adoption, the company said.
Partnering in the ‘automation-first’ era
The investment program was revealed Thursday at the UiPath Forward conference in Miami. The funding coincides with what Daniel Dines, co-founder and CEO at UiPath, called the “automation-first” era, a trend he said ranks in importance with other watershed technology developments from the birth of the mainframe to cloud and mobile computing.
“My feeling is we are again at the dawn of the new, big change in technology,” Dines said. “This new era is the automation-first era”
Dines described automation-first as the confluence of computer vision technology, the maturation of AI and business process optimization.
Partner support at UiPath Forward
“To me this is an investor fund,” said conference attendee Clinton Coker, principal at Machina, a UiPath partner based in Houston. “We are going to go back and look at how we can put our best foot forward to demonstrate to UiPath we have some opportunities to not just move the needle. We want to blow the odometer up.”
Machina is not ready to detail the offering it will submit as an investment candidate — a process that is expected to kick off in November. But Coker suggested his company might approach UiPath with a bundle of products and services for the energy industry, Machina’s vertical market focus.
UiPath’s investment funds, in general, demonstrate the companys’ interest in supporting UiPath partner firms as well as its customers.
“We’re in this game together,” Coker said.
The UiPath Forward conference drew more than 1,500 customers and partners. Last year’s inaugural event had about 500 attendees, according to UiPath officials.