October 20, 2022
min read

New Automation Market Map is published – Software Automation private funding grew by 230% in 2021

New Automation Market Map is published – Software Automation private funding grew by 230% in 2021

OpenOcean, a leading European venture capital firm, has released its Automation Market Map, showing that private funding for enterprise (software) automation companies hit $17.86 billion in 2021 - up 230% on the previous year. The market map, now in its second year, was created to help companies navigate the wider software automation space.

The research, compiled using an analysis of PitchBook data and proprietary OpenOcean research, defines the wider software automation space as all solutions that help enterprises automate previously manual and repetitive workflows. 

Key findings and updates to the 2022 map include: 

  • The software automation space now boasts 77 unicorns 
  • The most significant single round, $1 billion, was raised within the process mining/identifying new opportunities space by German-based Celonis.
  • Self-driving vehicles lead later stage venture capital funding, while Sales and Marketing received the majority of funding across all investment categories with $2.24 billion
  • This year’s database was extended from 120 to 739 companies

The map (pictured above) uses spatial visualisation to indicate the absolute number of companies in each category. Currently, the map shows that 76% of the automation field is made up of ready-made horizontal or vertical specific solutions, while 24% are automation building blocks and E2E automation players. 

Explore the 2022 Automation Market Map here.

The Future is Automated

2021 saw no shortage of software automation success stories. Beyond the aforementioned $1 billion funding round from Celonis, other notable successes over the past year include: R&D software automation firm Empyrean Technology, that raised $527 million, and Uniphore, the Conversational AI start-up, that raised $400 million.

Tom Henriksson, General Partner at OpenOcean, said, “The software automation space’s growth over the past year demonstrates the need for this sector. While Sales & Marketing automation continues to dominate the sector, it is exciting to see the massive developments in the process mining/identifying new opportunities space - led by German-based Celonis. This is definitely an area VCs will watch intently moving forward.”

“As companies continue to digitally transform, automation solutions will play a vital role in streamlining and accelerating this change. It is imperative that businesses across the globe also look outside of the traditional RPA route. Intelligent software automation will be hugely beneficial for the global economy. Fears that it will replace the workforce are unfounded. Instead, it must be viewed as a tool to make lives easier, allowing the workforce to no longer concentrate on menial tasks and focus instead on delivering meaningful value across organisations.”

About OpenOcean

OpenOcean is an early-stage venture capital firm investing across Europe with offices in London and Helsinki. With an entrepreneurial background from building several category-defining software businesses, we engage with founders to build and scale global companies delivering data solutions for the new economy. OpenOcean typically leads or co-leads Series A funding rounds.

Where to find alpha in the post-covid era? Macro and market update Q4 2022

A new dawn for enterprise automation – from long-term strategy to an operational imperative

News from our network

All news
September 12, 2023
min read

OpenOcean x Oxford's Saïd Business School: Why We Created O³, Startup Insights Platform

OpenOcean, in partnership with Oxford's Saïd Business School, has launched O³, an open-access startup insights platform aimed at fostering a data-driven startup ecosystem. Historically, the tech industry has struggled with transparency, leading policymakers, investors, and startups to base decisions on partial information. O³ addresses this gap by providing comprehensive data about startups, their technologies, market strategies, and more. This collaboration of Saïd Business School's research with OpenOcean's know-how offers unmatched insights for evaluating startups and understanding market shifts.
May 16, 2023
min read

Meet the OpenOcean Team in Spring/Summer 2023 Events

The OpenOcean Helsinki and London teams will attend various spring and summer events around Europe. We're on a mission to unite with entrepreneurs, professionals, and fellow investors to exchange and discuss new ideas and dive into exciting business opportunities – on and off the stage.
May 3, 2023
min read

"You can either retain your culture or have hyper-growth - getting both is a fool's choice.” – A Q&A with our Operating Advisor Kulpreet Singh

In this Q&A blog post, we have the pleasure of featuring Kulpreet Singh, OpenOcean's Operating Advisor since 2018. Kulpreet joined the team after a successful tenure at UiPath, the world's leading robotic process automation (RPA) software. We dive into Kulpreet's insights on company growth, common challenges fast-growing tech companies face, and essential qualities for startups aiming to make their mark globally.