October 20, 2022
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New Automation Market Map is published – Software Automation private funding grew by 230% in 2021

New Automation Market Map is published – Software Automation private funding grew by 230% in 2021

OpenOcean, a leading European venture capital firm, has released its Automation Market Map, showing that private funding for enterprise (software) automation companies hit $17.86 billion in 2021 - up 230% on the previous year. The market map, now in its second year, was created to help companies navigate the wider software automation space.

The research, compiled using an analysis of PitchBook data and proprietary OpenOcean research, defines the wider software automation space as all solutions that help enterprises automate previously manual and repetitive workflows. 

Key findings and updates to the 2022 map include: 

  • The software automation space now boasts 77 unicorns 
  • The most significant single round, $1 billion, was raised within the process mining/identifying new opportunities space by German-based Celonis.
  • Self-driving vehicles lead later stage venture capital funding, while Sales and Marketing received the majority of funding across all investment categories with $2.24 billion
  • This year’s database was extended from 120 to 739 companies

The map (pictured above) uses spatial visualisation to indicate the absolute number of companies in each category. Currently, the map shows that 76% of the automation field is made up of ready-made horizontal or vertical specific solutions, while 24% are automation building blocks and E2E automation players. 

Explore the 2022 Automation Market Map here.

The Future is Automated

2021 saw no shortage of software automation success stories. Beyond the aforementioned $1 billion funding round from Celonis, other notable successes over the past year include: R&D software automation firm Empyrean Technology, that raised $527 million, and Uniphore, the Conversational AI start-up, that raised $400 million.

Tom Henriksson, General Partner at OpenOcean, said, “The software automation space’s growth over the past year demonstrates the need for this sector. While Sales & Marketing automation continues to dominate the sector, it is exciting to see the massive developments in the process mining/identifying new opportunities space - led by German-based Celonis. This is definitely an area VCs will watch intently moving forward.”

“As companies continue to digitally transform, automation solutions will play a vital role in streamlining and accelerating this change. It is imperative that businesses across the globe also look outside of the traditional RPA route. Intelligent software automation will be hugely beneficial for the global economy. Fears that it will replace the workforce are unfounded. Instead, it must be viewed as a tool to make lives easier, allowing the workforce to no longer concentrate on menial tasks and focus instead on delivering meaningful value across organisations.”

About OpenOcean

OpenOcean is an early-stage venture capital firm investing across Europe with offices in London and Helsinki. With an entrepreneurial background from building several category-defining software businesses, we engage with founders to build and scale global companies delivering data solutions for the new economy. OpenOcean typically leads or co-leads Series A funding rounds.

A new dawn for enterprise automation – from long-term strategy to an operational imperative

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