Automation startup Laiye secures USD160 million to fuel overseas expansion
Laiye, a Beijing-based company that provide intelligent automation solutions to clients like Bank of China, Porsche, raised $160 million from a series C funding round to accelerate its expansion across overseas markets.
Laiye’s series C funding was made up of three tranches, with the latest tranche securing it $70 million in an oversubscribed round led by Chinese private equity firm Hopu Magnolia. Other investors include Hong-Kong based VMS Group and PE company Youshan Capital. Existing investors Lightspeed China Partners and US-based Lightspeed Venture Partners also participated in the latest tranche.
The fresh capital will be used to fuel expansion in Asia Pacific, the Americans, and EMEA.
As of today, the company generate roughly 20% of its revenue outside China, it plans to increase the ratio to 50% by 2025.
Founded in 2015, Laiye provide businesses with conversational artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled chatbots and voicebots that utilise natural language processing (NLP) and speech recognition to help improve efficiency in tasks such as marketing, sales, human resources, and customer services.
It also offers robotic process automation (RPA), a technology that mimics repetitive human actions.
As one of the major intelligent automation solutions provider in China, its products covers a wide range of industries like insurance, communications, electric power, finance, retail, and healthcare, serving domestic client include Bank of China and China Construction Bank, telecom companies China Unicom, China Mobile, and China Telecom.
Its foreign clients include German auto manufacturer Porsche, French luxury group LVMH, pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson Medical, and Roche Pharmaceuticals.
Prior to the new financing, Laiye completed a USD50 million series C+ round led by Ping An Global Voyager Fund and China’s state-backed Shanghai AI Industry Equity Investment Fund in April 2021.
The new investment came as Laiye set up a new R&D hub in Paris, following the recent acquisition of Paris-based Mindsay, which operates a European enterprise chatbot and voicebot platform.
Leiye doesn’t release a timeline for its IPO yet but will hold early discussions with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in the coming months.