Kognitos raises $20M to help businesses automate back-office processes

Businesses will never not (forgive the double negative) push to improve efficiency. It’s their commercial imperative. Sometimes, that takes the form of budget cuts. Other times, it’s more drastic — e.g. layoffs or hiring freezes.

But Binny Gill, the co-founder of Kognitos, makes the case that companies can have their cake and eat it too — eliminating inefficiencies without having to make tough choices. How? By automating business processes — which, wouldn’t you know, happens to be Kognitos’ core function.

“The pandemic created widespread ripple effects on the supply chain that caused many enterprises to grapple with limited resources, surging costs and constrained work environments,” Gill said. “This forced many organizations to take a long, hard look at the existing inefficiencies in their business processes, and recognize the importance of embracing new technology — including the power of AI, in improving productivity, agility and resilience.”

Wait, you might say — doesn’t automation oftentimes eliminate jobs? Well, yes. A 2016 study predicted that robotic process automation (RPA), a type of automation that leverages software “bots” to automate back-office tasks, could make as many as 16% of roles redundant by 2025.

On the other hand, job losses from automation could be offset by a retiring older workforce and gains in the gig economy (which isn’t necessarily preferable to full-time employment gains … but I digress). And, people like Gill argue, automation could lead to stronger employee satisfaction and engagement, given that automation technologies tend to tackle mundane and repetitive tasks that aren’t especially stimulating — or fulfilling.

Gill, formerly a researcher at IBM and the CTO of Nutanix, founded Kognitos in 2020 — inspired by an experience he had with family during the pandemic. As Gill’s son tried to program a game of tic-tac-toe in Python, Gill found himself questioning why his son had to learn programming in the first place.

“What if, instead of forcing humans to learn the language of the machines, machines could learn and understand the language of humans?,” Gill said. “To turn this vision into reality, I launched Kognitos, which allows business users to automate tasks in plain English.”

Credit To TechCrunch