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Automat raises 3.75M to automate the automation process.

Automat raises 3.75M from Initialized, Khosla, Y-combinator and others to automate the automation process.
Lucas Ochoa
6 minutes
Sep 6, 2023
TLDR: Traditional automation software is slow and expensive, Automat is 10X faster and 1/10th the price. It lets companies automate their workflows using video demonstrations and plain text descriptions.

Today, we’re excited to announce Automat’s (formerly Lasso) $3.75M seed round led by Initialized with participation from Khosla Ventures, Y combinator, Schox, Goodwater and others.

Automat is a tool that makes building automations as easy as describing or demonstrating them. Whether you’re an insurance team handling millions of medical claims per month or a fintech firm looking to automate trade license verification for your customers, Automat’s flexible UI based automations solve the missing links where there aren’t APIs.

"Automat is a clear example of how AI will transform daily operations for Enterprise and SMBs, empowering human teams to focus on important work while letting machines take on repetitive tasks," says Brett Gibson, managing partner at Initialized Capital. "If enterprise and mid-market companies can save hundreds of human hours with AI, that can make or break their growth potential."

Gautam and I decided to build Automat based on insights inspired by the work we were doing at our previous jobs at Google. There, we worked on conversational interfaces for robotics as well as applied novel LLM research that we built into Google’s products. These insights are what gave us the conviction that building automations could be as simple as explaining or demonstrating workflows. When we observed LLM sequence planning abilities in physical robotics, it led us to re-imagine the staid industry that was robotic process automation.

Just like robot arms are a great fit for physical automation because their form is compatible with the tools and environments that are built for humans, we think an intuitive tool for UI-based automation (RPA) will be the equivalent solution for knowledge work automation.

How Automat simplifies the Automation Process

Essentially, users can build sophisticated automations on Automat by simply uploading video walkthroughs of their workflows or uploading plain text instructions (SOPs). Our team of integrators and LLMs break down these descriptions/demonstrations into steps that can then subsequently perform actions.

It’s currently extremely time consuming and expensive to build out robot process automations using traditional RPA tools. Most are stuck using archaic licensing structures(~$66,000 per yearly license — Yikes) not to mention the cost of in-house engineers ($100K+) This is simply not accessible for most SMBs, Startups, or Enterprises not looking to bloat their spending on the processes that should be making their businesses more efficient.

Taylor Lint — CEO of Swantide, a CRM management company uses Automat to build automations that let them sell to customers outside of their engineering scope.

Lint says ”Automat’s UI based automation allowed us to accelerate our roadmap where there were gaps in the available APIs. Rather than spending expensive engineering time building and maintaining RPAs — Automat handles that for us”

Automat simplifies automation for mid-market and enterprise customers by handling the entire process of building, deploying, and maintaining automations. Rather than creating large and complex automation teams (“centers of excellence”), companies can rely on Automat to handle these tasks. This relieves them from the burden of hiring and managing a team dedicated to creating and maintaining delicate automations.

Taking a Different Approach
  • Automat simplifies the RPA build process to simply uploading screen recordings or uploading a description (SOP).
  • Rather than hire an in house engineering or team to build RPAs to solve gaps in APIs for mission critical operations, Automat handles that by charging a usage based SAAS subscription.
  • Automat’s tooling was built from the ground up using generative AI, which means that it seamlessly integrates novel automation techniques like natural language processing (NLP), text generation, PDF extraction, image recognition, and lightweight chatbot-style interfaces into workflow automation.
  • Automat is able to handle PDF and image extraction using fine-tuned state of the art Visual Language Models. Rather than requiring an expensive solutions, document handling can be directly integrated into a workflow built by Automat.
  • Using LLMs to create RPA greatly reduces the cost for deployment and maintenance of RPA solutions.

Fun for Everyone

Enterprise automations are just the start for Automat. We have conviction that solving the action side of software automation will be critical to giving future more sophisticated AI models proper agency to do valuable work.

We’ve seen first hand the rapid progress and effect of transformer models and think of ourselves as building the tooling and infrastructure for the deployment of those technical advancements into real world value. We imagine these same tools (if built thoughtfully) will work well with human or AI agent instruction and orchestration.

The fun won’t just be for enterprise. We’re laying the groundwork for standalone tools that bring the same techniques into the hands of everyday people. From here we’re building a future where anyone can automate the tedium of the work they do or work with the best AI agents available to help them do so.