Semantic Analysis Tech Firm Data Grand Raises CNY 270 Million
COVID-19 and China
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►Data Grand has pivoted from NLP to RPA and further to AI+RPA, following tech trends closely. 

►The firm sells to large enterprises in China and offers SaaS offerings to SMBs. 

Data Grand, the Chinese semantic analysis tech startup, announced its CNY 270 million Series B+ round of funding. The deal was led by Shenzhen Venture Capital. 

The Shanghai-based company started its business in the direction of natural language processing (NLP), optical character recognition (OCR) and knowledge maps. It has been consolidating its leadership position in the semantic analysis solutions market. Its intelligent text software systems comprise text screening, intelligent recommendation and knowledge search, among others.

In 2017, the company started to research Robotic Process Automation (RPA) technology, as a window of opportunity opening across the world. Unicorns have been born in the new field (UiPath and Automation Anywhere), followed by smaller competitors like Ripcord (USD 45 million in Feb). As established players like UiPath march into China, venture capitalists are betting on domestic firms. Laiye, for instance, secured USD 42 million in Feb from Lightspeed and Sequoia. 

In 2019, Data Grand rolled out its RPA offering as a trial product for clients, which comprise its NLP, OCR and RPA technologies. 

Nowadays, most mainstream RPA offerings are adopting an open-source framework provided by Microsoft as their underlying technology. On the contrary, Data Grand has developed its RPA product from scratch by itself, which is applicable for different operating systems like Android and other platforms. 

Apart from that, the company has been stepping further to another stage by investing more into Artificial Intelligence (AI). Its applications are now able to conduct automatic writing and reading. The RPA product delivery time has been decreased to a minimum of 1 to 2 days. For small and medium businesses (SMBs), it offers standardized Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) to improve efficiency. It now has 400 employees in total, with half of them in R&D. 

Its clients are spreading across fields including finance, manufacturing, militaries and the Internet, with big names like Ping An China, Huawei and China Mobile on the name list. Around half of its clients come from Data Grand’s ecosystem partners, including system integrators, enterprises (incl. Microsoft, Ping An and Sougou) and software agents. 

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