Pioneer in Asian cognitive automation solution Glee Trees secures funding from 500 Startups to tap into the multi-billion-dollar RPA and AI markets
The Singapore-based startup, Glee Trees, announced the close of an investment round by Silicon Valley-based early-stage venture fund, 500 Startups. With the new fund, Glee Trees will be further enhancing its proprietary cognitive automation solutions, and intensifying its reach primarily in China and expand into Vietnam and Indonesia.
The company’s core product, Gleematic, started out as a Robotic Process Automation (RPA) solution. After realizing that RPA had limitations as it could only automate tasks with strictly defined rules and structured digital data, Gleematic incorporated Artificial Intelligence (AI) functionality to make automation more cognitive.
Gleematic now includes RPA and AI technologies such as image recognition, pattern processing, natural language processing, and contextual analyses so that it can process information more intuitively. Thus, it can work with semi-structured and unstructured data that comes from paper documents, rather than solely from digital applications.
Glee Trees has recently recorded a 300% growth in annual revenue after acquiring enterprise customers in five countries including Singapore. “We are pleased to be backed by 500 Startups. We foresee tremendous opportunities ahead as we have marquee customers and won a number of startup competitions in China, such as Beijing Overseas Talent Entrepreneurs Competition (OTEC) and Nanjing Overseas Talents Startup Contest earlier this year,” said Christopher Lim, Founder, and CEO of Glee Trees.
Speaking on the deal, Binh Tran, Partner at 500 Startups, emphasized that RPA and AI are proving to unlock tremendous value for enterprises in the US. “500 Startups decided to invest into Glee Trees as one of the first movers in the fast-growing Asia and Southeast Asia market. Glee Trees is well-positioned to ride on the wave of digital transformation as Asian companies look to automation for improving efficiency and need tools to bridge legacy systems with modern cloud-based systems. In addition, Glee Trees is specifically built for Asia, providing localized solutions in multiple Asian languages for Natural Language Processing and Data Extraction,” said Binh.
Given its mature capabilities comparable to other global unicorn players, the company has partnered with large partners including Iron Mountain — a leader in storage and information management, and Corbus, LLC. — a global leader in the supply chain management arena. “We [Corbus] offer extensive Program Management, Digital Tools, and Process Improvement Solutions. We are proud to partner with GleeTrees. Throughout our collaborative partnership, we have found GleeTrees’ digital tools to be easy to use,” said Nick Chen, APAC General Manager of Corbus.
RPA is a relatively new category of software that allows automation of repetitive processes by mimicking the same actions that a human performs on a computer, rather than relying on complicated and rigid APIs. The RPA market has been growing fast in the past year. Gartner reported a 63% growth in the global RPA software market in 2018. Spending on RPA tools is expected to top $1 billion in 2019 and will ratchet up to $1.5 billion by 2020 according to Forrester. The global artificial intelligence (AI) market size is massive and set to reach $169 billion in 2025.
Glee Trees plans to use part of the new fund to enhance capabilities such as a document-extraction feature that can “read” documents in multiple Asian languages including Chinese and Indonesian. “Our unique focus is on creating Asian-language AI and automation that is accessible to all users even if they don’t have strong technical skills. We are optimistic that we will grow even further with support from 500 Startups,” added Christopher.
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