(Hong Kong, Shanghai, 21 April 2021) – Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd. (hereafter “Ping An” or “the Group”, HKEx: 2318; SSE: 601318) is delighted to announce that Laiye, China’s leader in intelligent automation, has raised $50 million in a Series C+ funding round co-led by the Ping An Global Voyager Fund and Shanghai Artificial Intelligence Industry Equity Investment Fund. Lightspeed China Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital China and Wu Capital also participated.
In the last year, Laiye reached several milestones with its innovative product offerings and fast developing ecosystem. Laiye accelerated its international expansion despite the pandemic and is now serving a growing customer base that includes numerous Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Laiye’s annual robotic process automation (RPA) software subscription revenue soared with an impressive 900% year-over-year growth. Its conversational artificial intelligence (AI) product, Laiye Chatbot, also received positive reviews from the user community. Laiye achieved positive cashflow for its enterprise business and profitability for the chatbot business in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Laiye's global footprint spans Asia, the US and Europe, with international partners including Microsoft, Deloitte, KPMG and Digital China. In its ongoing expansion, Laiye will be mindful of the expectations and technological trends in local regions to ensure its solutions are relevant to the target markets. The company currently has a community with more than 400,000 developers and more than 500 partners, primarily in China. It is quickly broadening their community outside China through partners such as RAAS PAL, a robotics and AI solution provider in Thailand.
Jonathan Larsen, Ping An Group Chief Innovation Officer and CEO of Ping An Global Voyager Fund, said, “Laiye has established itself as a clear leader in China in an extremely fast growing and attractive space. Laiye's solutions have particular resonance with financial institutions, which in China are generally just beginning to reap the rewards of RPA applications. Ping An is excited to partner with Laiye to help take it to the next phase of its growth story.”
Li Wei, Co-CEO and president of Laiye, said this round of funding will be primarily applied to global expansion and product development to help businesses achieve end-to-end intelligent automation. Laiye aims to enhance its RPA offering with native AI capability, compatibility with more operating systems like Linux and Android, and deployability on all major cloud platforms. The company will keep recruiting top talent to develop industry-specific solutions and strengthen its developer and partner ecosystem.
Wang Guanchun, Chairman and CEO of Laiye, said, “Laiye has been growing its developer community by organizing RPA + AI competitions and launching a bot store that connects SMBs that have automation needs to freelancing developers. Laiye aims to foster the world’s largest developer community for software robots and build the world’s largest bot marketplace in the next three years. We plan to certify at least 1 million software robot developers by 2025. We believe that the digital workforce and intelligent automation will reach all walks of life as long as more human workers can be upskilled with knowledge in RPA and AI.”