Microsoft Is in Talks to Buy Startup Softomotive
Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft Corp., speaks during a Microsoft product event in New York, U.S. (Photographer: Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg)

Microsoft Is in Talks to Buy Startup Softomotive

(Bloomberg) -- Microsoft Corp. is in talks to buy Softomotive Ltd., a U.K.-based startup that makes software robots to automate tasks, according to people familiar with the matter.

If talks are successful, a deal could be announced as soon as the coming weeks, said the people, asking not to be identified because the matter isn’t public. No final decision has been made and talks could still fall apart, they said.

The terms of the deal being discussed couldn’t immediately be learned. Softomotive raised $25 million in 2018 from London-based investment firm Grafton Capital.

Representatives for Microsoft and Softomotive declined to comment.

Softomotive specializes in robot process automation technology, or software that helps companies save time and money by automating repetitive, manual tasks such as entering data into spreadsheets. The company’s products are used in the health-care, banking, insurance and telecommunications industries, according to its website.

It competes with startups such as Automation Anywhere Inc. and UiPath, which was most recently valued at $7 billion and has been eyeing an initial public offering, Bloomberg News previously reported.

Microsoft, one of the largest software companies in the world, posted better-than-expected quarterly results Wednesday, as increased remote work accelerated demand for its cloud-computing products. It said in November that it had added robotic process automation to its workflow product and has signed up customers.

Softomotive was founded in 2005 in Greece and moved its headquarters to London in 2015. Its website states that it’s a gold partner to Microsoft.

The former chief executive officer of U.K.-software firm Sage Group Plc, Guy Berruyer, was appointed chairman of the board last year.

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