LAIYE 7th Anniversary-Chairman’s Open Letter


Last year when Laiye turned 6, I told you that 6 means smoothness in the Chinese culture. Looking back, it indeed brought us a smooth transition from a China-focused start-up to a legit global challenger.

Laiye became the first Chinese brand to be selected into Gartner Magic Quadrant for RPA and subsequently named as a global top 3 in the Peer Insights Voice of Customer report. We also became world’s first and ONLY vendor to be featured in RPA, IDP and Conversational AI PEAK Matrix by Everest Group. Kudos to all Laiyers who made such impressive recognition possible throughout these years.

Since Robert Zhou and Ronen Lamdan joined as business leaders for China and International in Q2 last year, we landed and expanded with more world’s large organizations exemplified by the big deals won from China National Petroleum Corporation and Singapore National Library Board in Q2 this year. We expect more to come.

We launched process mining as another integral component of our integrated intelligent automation platform to help identify more automation opportunities using RPA, IDP and Conversational AI. In addition, process mining helps our clients to improve processes and work from a more holistic point of view.

We also closed the largest funding round in the company’s history, $70M C++ led by Hopu, as well as the first international acquisition of Paris-based Mindsay. We are excited to report that all Mindsay customers have been retained so far and some have already expanded the scope of relationship with us post acqusition.

Beyond our first international base in Singapore, we now have teammates in Australia, Brazil, France, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Philippine, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, UK and USA. 

We also recently appointed William D Vanderbilt, BRAD FORNACIARI and Braham Shnider to be our Global Enablement Officer, Global Brand Officer and Global Strategy and Category Officer. 

We aspire to build a more global ONE TEAM that can succeed everywhere in the world and be a unified force for the better in this seemingly de-globalizing world. Today, Laiye is turning 7. Not many startups get to celebrate their 7th anniversaries, especially during this volatile economic and political environment. 

Looking ahead, I am further emboldened after the category design engagement we did internally in the past couple of months. As the vision appears clearer for the next 10 years with intelligent automation and digital workforce quickly becoming realities, let’s strive for global category leadership in a new expanded category that only Laiye can define, develop and dominate.

This ambition reminds me of the first public speech I delivered in English for Laiye in 2019 (that is pre-COVID era) at EmTech China by MIT Technology Review. I opened with the statement “Smart robots will revolutionize the way we WORK and live just like PCs did 40 years ago“.

Yes, our purpose has been about revolutionizing WORK in this new era of artificial intelligence. I cited then that office automation increased by only 3% versus 75% in factory automation since 1980.

The pandemic in the last three years only made spurring labor productivity growth even more imperative as we now live in a world of more hybrid workplaces, increasingly distributed workforces and more frequent operational or supply chain disruptions. 

Many organizations are facing this work execution gap where human workforce needs to be complemented by digital workforce and individual workers need to be up-skilled with intelligent technologies and tools to liberate them from manual and repetitive work.

Interestingly, 7 symbolizes perfection in both eastern and western culture. I strongly believe that we are about to find that perfect spot on this renaissance wave of work. This could well be the year Laiye flys out of the cocoon and turns into a butterfly. 

Of course such transformation is not guaranteed and success won’t come easily. A case in point: the silkworms my son tried to raise didn‘t make it through due to access cutoff from mulberry leaves during the recent lockdown in Shanghai. Yet this is our opportunity. To make work less work and make human more human. To truly advance our mission to help organizations and people do better and be better.

Let’s all get ready for a very exciting and hopefully perfect Year 7 ahead and stay tuned for more updates during the ensuing 100-day battle and “lightning strikes”.

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