$35 million appears to be spent by Magical to transport data across webpages.

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Some observers believe that the market for robotic process automation, which uses artificial intelligence to automate specific software operations, is consolidating. According to a recent Forrester Research analysis, the sector will begin to flatten in 2023 as organizations move to wider automation options. This is supported by evidence. Within a year, UiPath, one of the top RPA suppliers, had its market worth plummet from $35 billion to $15 million. In addition, established IT corporations took up smaller players like Signavio, Intellibot, and Servicetrace.

Most RPA entrepreneurs would be discouraged by the headwinds, but Harpaul Sambhi is not one of them. He's the co-founder of Magical, an RPA business that uses a few keystrokes to transport data across websites and online apps.

"Prior to Magical, I started Careerify, an HR technology business that was bought by LinkedIn in 2015." In an email conversation with TechCrunch, Sambhi said, "Like many founders, I worn numerous hats, including sales, recruitment, and customer service." "I was inundated with monotonous activities like copying and pasting applicant or prospect information into spreadsheets and databases, and drafting the same outreach message over and over." When I first arrived at LinkedIn, I observed that many of my coworkers were doing the same thing, whether in recruiting, customer service, or corporate development. This was the catalyst for the creation of Magical."

With Magical, users can share templates and automation via “magic packs.

Sambhi founded Magical in 2020 with co-founders Rosie Chopra, Zach Piepmeyer, and Prashant Viswanathan. The startup began by focusing on communications but later expanded to include data transmission between websites, databases, sheets, and forms.

Magical is more related to a text expander than an RPA platform, according to Sambhi. Magical inserts snippets of text (e.g., "Alex," "alex@example.com") such as words, emojis, phrases, paragraphs, blocks of code, or templates when you type in a custom abbreviation (e.g., "@name," "@email"). The programme, which is now only available for Chrome, recognizes and "remembers" components on webpages, allowing for shortcut customization and auto-population in sheets and forms.

When challenged about data retention, Sambhi said that Magical saves metadata but not the fundamental data it transports. A user's keystrokes do not exit the machine.

"Shortcut data is encrypted and saved on our servers. "We save shortcuts and shortcut text in real-time on our servers and do daily general backups (backups are kept for 14 days)," Sambhi explained. "We encrypt all communication with our servers" (via HTTPS). To guarantee even more protection and privacy, our shortcut database is encrypted, and shortcut text includes an extra layer of encryption."

Text expanders aren't a new concept. However, investors like Coatue Management, which lead the startup's $35 million Series A fundraising round, have taken notice of Magical's cloud- and browser-centric strategy. Greylock, Bain, Lightspeed Capital, SV Angels, and Blank Ventures also participated in the round, which takes Magical's total investment to $41 million (after a previously unknown $6 million seed round).

Source: Magical

Magical is used by over 300,000 people (Sambhi subsequently confirmed that it is over 450,000) and over 10,000 enterprises, according to Sambhi, including Disney, Facebook, Salesforce, and Uber teams. Magical does not charge for its services at this time. However, in the future, paid plans with premium features will be introduced.

"We see our biggest rivals as soul-crushing chores that every knowledge worker has to do on a daily basis, such as typing the same message over and over or copying and pasting data across tabs. "We see a lot of knowledge workers who are still using these traditional, antiquated methods of working," Sambhi added. "Leaders value Magical because we help their teams achieve new operational efficiency." They also like us because we can verify that information is consistent across the many software-as-a-service platforms being used, and that teams are all working with the same data and on the same page."

Magical intends to use a portion of the Series A funding to expand its platform outside Chrome and increase its 18-person team to 35 by the end of the year. More desktop and mobile browsers will be supported in the future.

"As we learn more about how individuals go about completing their jobs and how they think about repetition, workflow, and task sequence, our solution will become smarter and more useful." "The more we know about these tasks, the smarter we will get," Sambhi explained. "Our next product milestone will allow teams to cooperate and share automation, allowing whole departments to optimize their time savings efficiency."

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