Pliant, a US-based IT process automation startup with Bulgarian founders for CEO and CTO, Vess Bakalov and Dimitar Blagoev, has received funding from multiple investors. The round, which follows a $2.5M (€2.1M) seed investment from May 2019, was led by Gutbrain Ventures with participation from the Bulgarian venture capital firm BrightCap Ventures, Azure Capital Partners, and Timothy McSweeney.
A part of the funding will be used to support the product development of Pliant’s low-code automation platform while another will boost the company’s go-to-market strategy, which includes the hiring of additional marketing and sales support. While an official statement from Pliant states that the amount of the new investment remains undisclosed, according to Crunchbase the value of the deal equals $2.6M (€2.2M).
“Pliant has an impressive team, its product solves an actual pain for enterprise customers, and the company operates in a fast-growing market we know well following our exit with Cloudpipes from last year. More and more companies are transitioning to cloud IT operations and ideally, they have to do it in an as controlled and automated manner as possible – and this is where Pliant comes in,” tells Trending Topics Daniel Lorer, partner at BrightCap Ventures.
The product and the market
The Pliant platform enables DevSecOps teams along with non-technical citizen developers, to quickly and easily create automation workflows for complex business processes. For organizations, this should translate to faster time to market and cost savings. In practice, through Pliant’s platform vendor API code is transformed into low-code action blocks that can be used for the secure development and deployment of automation across more than 70 different technology providers. Currently, Pliant offers more than 100,000 APIs that also includes all of the necessary debug code and documentation required to produce cross-domain automation.
Obviously, one of the biggest players in the process automation space is the founded in Romania RPA provider UiPath, currently valued at $10.2B((€8.7M) but it’s a fast-growing market and the coronavirus pandemic has given organizations additional reasons to focus on automation and reduce operating costs so the space for new players like Pliant is there.
Pliant focuses on API-level back-end automation so it is not actually competing directly with UiPath as the latter’s products are one level higher in the infrastructure, oriented at the end-user and designed to mimic human actions to complete a specific task multiple times.