UK-based Rossum, a deep learning startup, has secured $4.5 million in funding. The investors included LocalGlobe, Seedcamp and Milton.
London, November 27 2019 – Rossum – the deep learning startup on a mission to finally get rid of manual data entry once and for all – has secured $4.5 million from LocalGlobe, with participation from Seedcamp, Miton, and StartupYardto help more businesses save time and money with its AI-enabled extraction tool.
Every day, the equivalent of 100 human lifetimes are estimated to be spent globally on the manual input of data from invoices alone. Rossum streamlines this process by boosting efficiency and driving down costs. In tests, its AI tool has been proven to extract data six times faster than at a human rate while saving companies up to 80% of the costs.
Renowned investors Elad Gil (Twitter’s former VP of strategy and investor in Airbnb, Square, and Pinterest); Michael Stoppelman (investor in Wish, Lyft and the former SVP of Engineering at Yelp); Vijay Pandurangan (investor and advisor for Wish and Get Room and former Director of Engineering at Twitter); and Ryan Petersen (founder and CEO Flexport and Import Genius) also took part in these rounds and will act as mentors for the Rossum team.
Solving the data entry template problem
Rossum’s software was built by its three founders, former AI PhD students Tomas Gogar, Petr Baudis and Tomas Tunys. Baudis’ work is credited in Google’s scientific paper on its historic AlphaGo AI victory in 2016, all three were named among Financial Times’ New Europe 100 Challengers in 2017 and Gogar was named in Forbes’ 30 under 30 list in 2018.
Instead of using traditional Optical Character Recognition (OCR) extraction software, Rossum’s technology is leading a trend known as Cognitive Data Capture in which computers are taught to understand documents in the way a human does.
This is because OCR-based systems rely on specific rules and templates for every individual type of invoice they receive and they read documents character by character. For even a small business, this can equate to hundreds if not thousands of templates and each new document requires a new set of rules. This leads to higher costs, complex third-party integrations, and a dependency on developers to maintain these systems.
By comparison, Cognitive Data Capture uses deep learning to scan a document like a human would, regardless of the file’s style and formatting, and instead of having to install clunky applications, Rossum’s software runs in the cloud, meaning it can be easily integrated with existing systems and can even be used via a web browser.
Designed to help humans, not replace them
Rather than replacing employees, Rossum’s aim is to speed up human operators, giving businesses more flexibility and reliability for their customers, and helping employees focus their attention on more complex tasks or tasks that require creativity. Rossum’s accuracy rates average at around 95% and for any data fields Rossum’s software can’t identify, it asks for feedback from a human worker. Each time it receives feedback, the software learns, improves and this accuracy increases.
Rossum’s product is already used by companies in every continent, including multiple Fortune 500 enterprises, such as Siemens. “When we first started using Rossum’s technology, we couldn’t believe how accurate it was,” said customer Martin Nedopil, a data capture expert from Siemens. “It was so impressive, we were convinced its results were being backed up by manual labour when they weren’t. It was almost too good to be true.”
Rossum has additionally been an official technology partner of giants in the automation space, UiPath and Blueprism, since early on.
Rossum’s current system is helping its clients chiefly process invoices and similar documents, like delivery notes. However, the technology can be used to process documents across many segments including accounting, logistics, insurance, real estate management, among others. It plans to use its investments to further develop this technology for multiple sectors, open a US office and continue its global expansion.
“Technology should make data entry easier and cheaper but businesses have become too reliant on using old systems that no longer meet their needs. Rossum solves these problems without complicated, clunky integrations; without teams of developers; and without high costs. Our solution is smart enough to be tailored to suit any type of business and it’s scalable to work with even the largest of firms,” explains Rossum’s co-founder Tomas Gogar
LocalGlobe partner Mish Mashkautsan said: “Until now enterprises have depended on data capture solutions that took months to set up and required heavy maintenance. With Rossum they can now deploy in minutes with high accuracy out of the box across countless use-cases. Their product facilitates intuitive feedback which quickly boosts accuracy and efficiency even further. We’re delighted to back Rossum as they build the future of cognitive data capture.”
Angel investor Elad Gil, who has backed the likes of Stripe, Airbnb and Coinbase comments: “Invoice data management is a huge unsolved problem. Rossum’s traction shows that the company is in a great position to solve this problem as well as tackle many other data entry tasks using its highly versatile platform.
“Reshma Sohoni from SeedCamp said: “Rossum’s technology is a game-changer for business. We’re excited to work with such a passionate and highly skilled team to bring the cost and time savings of its AI data-extraction tool to even more businesses.”