Startup Indico Raises $22 Million for AI Enterprise Tech

By Bruce Harpham Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Indico, an artificial intelligence (AI) technology startup based in Boston, has raised $22 million from investors. The company plans to use the funding to hire more employees and invest in sales and marketing in 2021. Founded in 2013, Indico's process automation products are mainly aimed at customers in banking and insurance.

Indico's Revenue Growth

The company typically earns about $30,000 per customer. That's why they were able to reach $600,000 in annual revenue in 2017. In 2020, the company's estimated revenue has grown to more than $10 million.

The startup offers both cloud and on-premise offerings. The on-premise solution means financial customers concerned about data security can run Indico software right in their building, in addition to the cloud.

Where Indico Raised Its Funding

In total, Indico has raised $30 million in startup funding. The company's lead investors include Jump Capital and Sandbox Insurtech Ventures. Sandbox is a small investment fund based in Chicago which has been actively investing in 2020. Sandbox has also invested in Layr (AI to optimize commercial insurance) and Payfone (customer identity and authentication software). In contrast, Jump Capital is a larger venture capital funding with more than 100 investments. Jump Capital's exits include Personal Capital (a personal financial advisor platform) and Zipscene (restaurant marketing data analytics)

How the Company Approaches Process Automation

Indico aims to solve repetitive work processes involving documents such as PDFs, Word documents, images, and text documents. Once this data is processed, Indico applies AI software to classify, organize, and analyze it. Given this focus, Indico's focus on the banking and insurance industries makes sense. Both of those industries are heavily regulated and have significant risks to manage. By automating more of their daily work, Indico can help these financial firms increase efficiency and customer service.

Rather than asking companies to change their process entirely to emphasize databases and structured data, Indico works with the data in place. If customers provide critical information in Word files, PDFs, and emails, then Indico can process that unstructured data. The company states it has trained its models based on more than 200 industry-specific training examples. That industry-specific expertise should mean faster implementations for Indico.

Buying automation software that has already been trained on industry data is a big win. Researchers at IBM have made significant progress in reducing AI model training time in 2020. However, companies that buy "general purpose" AI or machine learning products still have to face a challenge in training models. Potentially, Indico's industry-specific solution may offer a shortcut.

Indico Competes With These RPA Startup Companies

Indico faces competition from multiple companies in process automation and robotic process automation (RPA). Fortress IQ, an RPA startup that integrates with Microsoft products, raised $30 million earlier in 2020. Catalytic, a Chicago-based RPA startup company, has also raised $30 million in funding. Fortress IQ is taking a generalist approach rather than Indico's industry specialization. Catalytic positions its solutions based on functional departments: finance, people operations (i.e., human resources), supply chain, and customer operations.

In addition to startups, Indico also faces competition from consultants who can build automation out of existing software tools. For example, companies like Deloitte offer technology consulting and RPA consulting. Fortunately, competition with professional services companies is not the only option. Fortress IQ has partnerships with various consulting organizations such as Blue Prism.

How Much Is the RPA Market Worth?

The RPA market is different from AI and machine learning in one critical sense. RPA tools are generally able to deliver immediate benefits by automating repetitive tasks such as processing invoices. Since there is no need to reimagine processes top to bottom, robotic process automation can deliver results quickly, while implementing an AI solution may take longer but deliver more transformative results.

According to Gartner, robotic process automation is forecast to reach nearly $2 billion in 2021. In contrast, the industry was only worth $1.4 billion in 2019. Gartner notes that RPA software is increasingly bought outside of the IT department. Chief operating officers and chief financial officers are both buying RPA software. Looking further into the future, Grand View Research estimates that robotic process automation will be worth more than $25 billion by 2027. The top companies in RPA marketing include UiPath, Blue Prism, and Automation Anywhere.

About the Author


Headshot for author Bruce Harpham

Bruce Harpham is an author and marketing consultant based in Canada. His first book "Project Managers At Work" shared real-world success lessons from NASA, Google, and other organizations. His articles have been published in CIO.com, InfoWorld, Canadian Business, and other organizations. Visit BruceHarpham.com for articles, interviews with tech leaders, and updates on future books.

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