On a weekly basis, there is a good chance that, regardless of your profession, there are aspects of your job that need to occur on a regular cadence. These repetitive tasks or reports are necessary elements of what you do, but likely also sometimes feel that they take away from real work.
RoboSelf, a Bucharest Founder Institute portfolio company, uses the power of chatbots’ natural language abilities to automate away the most repetitive tasks in the office, allowing professionals to focus on priority projects. Co-founded by the Ph.D. duo Razvan Dinu and Traian Rebedea, the founders bring backgrounds in AI and machine learning—it’s no surprise RoboSelf is using artificial intelligence to make all kinds of employees more efficient. Dinu explains,
We build robotic personal assistants for small and medium businesses.
Launched earlier this year, the company is already making waves with its automation solutions. As a result, the company has raised € 200,000 led by the capital fund Early Game Ventures.
Robotic Process Automation changes the way professionals in every field use the computer. Software robots solve repetitive tasks much faster and more efficiently than people, which frees people up and gives them the freedom to handle other things that require creativity and decision making.
In other words, these robots are able to understand natural language, and allow the user to provide basic commands, so that the bot learns to complete repetitive tasks on the user’s behalf.
RoboSelf Makes Task Automation Accessible For Small & Medium Companies
Their goal is simple: save companies time and money, which in turn means a happier workforce. Since launch, RoboSelf have already saved their customers more than 300 hours of effort. Dinu explains,
A key thing about them is to keep it simple. The interface is basically a chat interface, which you can also use from Whatsapp, and where you just say what you need and the robot starts to execute. Also, you can ask the robot various questions, and it will even be able to be proactive and remind you of certain things.
The technologies behind RoboSelf - RPA - tend to be complicated, which can be cost-prohibitive to small and medium businesses. Because of the specialization and knowledge needed, the RoboSelf team sought out to develop a solution that would allow anyone to interact with the technology, to automate their own repetitive workloads themselves. This is done through a chatbot interface, letting users use natural language to interact with it.
RoboSelf translates user commands into actions, that can be executed directly by RPA robots. In other words, we democratize RPA and make accessible to anyone. That is why our vision is that every person working on the computer should have a software robot that will help him with all the repetitive and time-consuming tasks.
For example, the first automated solution RoboSelf supports focuses on monthly, standardized local compliance reporting. These are simple reports that are tracked and signed on a monthly basis, and then filed with an accountant and validated for some legal or government compliances. Once filed, any recipient needs to download and check for errors. In total, this simple automated skill has already saved RoboSelf’s customers around 10 hours per month.
We believe RPA can be democratized to be adopted by companies of all sizes. Our vision is that every professional will have their own RoboSelf to assist them at work with repetitive tasks. We believe this can be achieved through a “robotic-assistants-as-a-service” model like RoboSelf.
In the future, RoboSelf plans to have enough skills and solutions in place to work similarly to how Amazon’s Alexa does. The service itself follows a monthly subscription, and each skill can be added as needed. The interface follows a simple chatbot approach, which means people can use natural language to complete tasks, and even use apps like Whatsapp to interact with RoboSelf. The next step will be to focus on the needs of specific organizational areas, like HR and legal.
This comes at a time when both the AI ($14.69B) and chatbot industries ($1.17B) are projected to grow exponentially over the next decade. Currently, AI is only scratching the surface of what is possible, and while there are some fears in the market of it replacing jobs, solutions like RoboSelf show how necessary they are as complementary to a people-powered workforce. In the context of RoboSelf’s first solution, the accounting software market will have a value of $11.8 billion by 2026, with much of that being driven by AI.
Being no stranger to startups or the accounting industry, as the son of an accountant, these compliance reporting forms presented a very logical first step in simplifying an otherwise redundant and exclusively human-driven process.
For those interested in building their own business, Dinu says that pursuing an accelerator or incubator is a good first step.
In developing the initial MVP, especially for a technical founder like me, determining how much effort we actually put into the technology and how much we talk to customers, it’s more of an art than a science.
Which makes sense for technical founders, as it can be easy to get carried away on trying to fully build out a solution, rather than focusing on the right MVP the market needs for validation.
As a founder you have to wear so many hats, from pitching to developing, to fundraising, to talking to customers, I found that to be challenging. My approach is to take them one at a time.
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