Automation Anywhere expands into process discovery with FortressIQ acquisition

Automation Anywhere, which is best known for its robotic process automation (RPA) software, plans to expand the platform. This morning, the company announced that it intends to acquire process discovery startup FortressIQ. The companies did not reveal the purchase price.

FortressIQ gives Automation Anywhere this missing process discovery component, which enables AI-fueled software to map internal processes in an automated way, replacing high-priced consultants.

“Together, Automation Anywhere and FortressIQ will reshape the future of automation, changing the way our customers automate, adapt, and accelerate as they pursue digital transformation initiatives,” Automation Anywhere CEO and co-founder Mihir Shukla said in a statement.

While there is more than a hint of executive bombast in that statement, the acquisition does expand the company’s capabilities. Consider that FortressIQ raised $46 million since its founding in 2017, according to PitchBook data. We covered the $12 million Series A in 2018 and $30 million Series B last year.

But compare that with Celonis, the market leader, which has attracted $1.4 billion in investment, according to Crunchbase data, including a massive $1 billion Series B on an $11 billion valuation in June. That followed a significant agreement with IBM in April to help sell its services inside large organizations.

FortressIQ founder and CEO Pankaj Chowdhry told me at the time of the B round that the company was focused on a computer-vision solution to drive automated process discovery.

“We’re building this kind of cool computer vision to help with process discovery, mostly in the automation space to help you automate processes. But what we’ve seen is people leveraging our data to drive transformation strategies, of which automation ends up being a pretty small component,” he said at the time. As part of Automation Anywhere, it should play a much bigger role.

Process automation has certainly been a hot area of late, with RPA, low code workflow tools and process mining coming together to generate a plethora of market activity this year. UIPath, the RPA market leader, went public in April to much fanfare and a final private valuation of $35 billion, although the stock has cooled since.

Regardless, Gartner pegs UIPath, Blue Prism and Automation Anywhere as the RPA market leaders, and this acquisition is about expanding the platform and the company’s automation capabilities to keep pace with the industry.