Anyline, the Vienna-based provider of optical character recognition (OCR) technology that developers use to build OCR functions into their websites and apps, has raised $12 million in Series A funding. The company has also unveiled plans for a U.S. expansion.
Leading the round is Berlin-based VC firm Project A, with participation from Anyline’s existing investors, including Johann “Hansi” Hansmann, Senovo and the Gernot Langes-Swarovski Foundation.
Founded in 2013, Anyline offers specialised OCR solutions that it says the big tech vendors are not set up to supply. This has seen the Austrian startup pick up a portfolio of international clients such as Canon, Porsche and E.On, as well as national governments and the United Nations.
Its OCR functionality can be built into any modern website or app and is being used by businesses to scan and collect various “analogue” information, such as identity documents, serial numbers and utility meters, using any standard mobile device.
The upside of such an approach is obvious: By using proven OCR tech that actually works, businesses can make considerable savings in terms of time and resources by eliminating manual data entry, which is prone to costly mistakes.
From a customer point of view, anybody who has used OCR to add a debit card to an app or submit a meter reading knows it provides an infinitely less painful experience than having to manually type long numbers on a phone.
Anyline says the new capital will primarily be used to double its headcount, and to open a first U.S. headquarters in Boston in early 2020. This will enable Anyline to bring its mobile OCR solutions to new international markets and industries, including smart manufacturing, KYC services and fintech, says the company.
“As businesses move to an increasingly virtual world, it is vital they have access to advanced technologies that enable them to digitise previously analog mediums,” says Lukas Kinigadner, CEO and co-founder of Anyline, in a statement.
“We are proud to say European-born technology is helping businesses across the world to reduce the errors, inefficiencies and frustrations that come with manual input. By becoming the market leader in mobile OCR, Anyline plans to be the technology partner businesses need to meet these challenges on the horizon.”
Meanwhile, Anyline’s planned U.S. launch as seen the company found Anyline Inc., and hire Bryan Boatner, the former Global Sales director of Cognex Corporation, as its new VP of Sales and Business Development.