AI and RPA leader DataGrand secures $38mn in funding round

By William Girling
Shanghai-based automation technology specialist DataGrand has reportedly closed its Series B funding round at CNY270mn (USD$38mn). Led by Shenzhen Capi...

Shanghai-based automation technology specialist DataGrand has reportedly closed its Series B funding round at CNY270mn (USD$38mn).

Led by Shenzhen Capital Group and several of the company’s existing investors, the raised funds will be instrumental in continuing DataGrand’s pioneering research into artificial intelligence (AI), robotic process automation (RPA) and natural language processing (NLP).

These three processes form the basis of many contemporary applications on automation technology, from advanced data analytics to supply chain management and customer services functions.

Advancing automation

Founded in 2015, DataGrand currently represents one of the fastest-growing and highest-valued AI software companies operating in China. 

Since its inception, the company has provided clients with a wide variety of automation solutions, including document reviewing, intelligent searching and knowledge mapping. In addition to the applications aforementioned, DataGrand is also exploring optical character recognition (OCR) and Knowledge Graph. 

On the topic of NLP, Dr Chen Yunwen, Founder and CEO of DataGrand, commented that the differences between Chinese and English grammar had presented an initial challenge, but one which was, nevertheless, eventually conquered.

"From the perspective of Linguistics, Chinese grammar is more complex and flexible compared with English, which brings great difficulty and challenge to Chinese NLP not only in methods but also in product implementation. 

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“With solid Chinese NLP technology, DataGrand has launched a number of automatic text processing products. At present, our systems can smoothly process documents both in Chinese and English, and this has gained a lot of praise in the industry,” he said.

Leading AI development in China

2019 saw the release of ‘DataGrand RPA’, one of the first automation programmes to feature NLP, OCR and RPA, providing customers with a diverse suite of functions to unlock latent value with the technology.

Developed entirely in-house, DataGrand’s work is one of only a handful of similar companies which do not use Microsoft-based infrastructure to house their applications. Although this is much more time-consuming, it is also far more adaptable and customisable.

"Although the R&D process is more expensive and difficult without borrowing existing foreign framework, it is well deserved when looking back,” added Dr Yunwen. 

“We have mastered all the core technologies from the bottom up. The cross-platform adaptability of the software is stronger, and the technology is able to run on various operating systems."

Currently deployed in more than 100 companies across a wide range of verticals. Some companies known to be utilising DataGrand’s technology include Deloitte, HSBC and Huawei.

Yan Yan, Managing Partner at one of the company’s primary investors, SAIF, said, “DataGrand is in an absolutely leading position. We strongly believe Dr. Chen will lead DataGrand to make great achievements in the future.”

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