Luminai (formerly DigitalBrain) gets $16M investment for customer support RPA-like tool

The founders of DigitalBrain have quite a back story. A pair of immigrants living in a hacker house in San Francisco, the two paid bills for a time by competing at hackathons and winning. When they came up with an idea for a business called DigitalBrain, they were able to get into Y Combinator in the Summer 2020 cohort, and they’ve been working to build a company ever since.

Today the company founders were rewarded for their hard work with a $16 million Series A. While they were at it, they also announced they were changing their name to Luminai.

Company co-founder Kesava Kirupa Dinakaran says the startup has come a long way since TechCrunch covered its seed round in 2020. He said the original product had around 10 features, but the one that really stuck was the RPA-like functionality that automated a series of steps for a user into a single click.

“We’d built like 10 features when we first built the product. And as we iterated with our first group of design partners and customers back then, we found essentially that one specific one became the full-blown product today, which was taking any kind of multiclick, multistep process and making it one click,” he told me.

What Luminai now does is record a video of a user jumping between different systems. “Using the Luminai recorder, we keep track of the clicks and keystrokes and our software is able to recognize if there is an API available or not, and then replicate that exact same workflow in the background.”

Dinakaran says that his customers describe it like a macro on steroids, but he says what really separates it from pure RPA tools is the ability to connect to API gateways when they are available. “What’s different is that we’re kind of combining RPA with traditional API-based integration,” he said.

When there’s no API, or when the company doesn’t want to grant Luminai access to the gateway for whatever reason, such as if it’s a financial gateway, then the tool can use standard RPA-style recording techniques to move through a workflow.

The company is still running lean with just 11 employees today, and while they are hedging their bets with the A round, he says they have revenue and that most of the company’s $3.4 million seed round is still in the bank. He said that the seed round meant that he and his co-founder no longer had to worry about basic needs like food and rent and could concentrate fully on the business.

One thing he is particularly proud of is that his cousins in India now see becoming a startup founder as something that’s in reach. “The other part of the story is that some of my cousin’s want to become founders and now they see some sort of path and that gives me a lot of joy in many ways,” he said.

General Catalyst led today’s round with participation from Moxxie Ventures, Underscore VC, Craft Ventures, YC Continuity and a slew of prominent industry angels. The company has now raised almost $20 million.