Ripcord Raises Another $40M To Digitize Mounds of Paper Records

Ripcord, which raised $9.5 million in March, says it has landed another $40 million to expand the ranks of its robotic “workcells” that convert piles of paper documents into searchable digital records.

The Hayward, CA-based startup uses automation, high-resolution cameras, and optical character recognition software to try to speed up the digitization process and reduce costs, compared with the services of established records management companies. One big Ripcord rival, Boston-based Iron Mountain (NYSE: IRM) grew its revenue to $3.51 billion in 2016. Ripcord estimates the total market for corporate records management at $25 billion.

Ripcord’s Series B funding round, announced today, includes $25 million in equity financing and $15 million in debt. The round was led by Icon Ventures, joined by Silicon Valley Bank and prior investors Kleiner Perkins and Lux Capital. Icon Ventures General Partner Jeb Miller will join Ripcord’s board of directors.

Ripcord declined to disclose which participants in the round made equity investments and which made loans. But in an e-mail to Xconomy, a Ripcord spokesman wrote that some parties to the deal “both gained equity and loaned money.” The round brings Ripcord’s fundraising total to $49.5 million.

Ripcord says it plans to use the money to build more of its boxy robotic units, further develop its software, and increase its staff count to 100 by the end of the year. The startup, founded in 2015, now runs its operations with a mixture of contractors and full time and part time employees, the Ripcord spokesman wrote in an e-mail exchange.

The company isn’t disclosing its revenue, but says engineering giant Bechtel is a paying customer. As the power of data analytics increases, Ripcord is trying to help global companies such as Bechtel extract the value out of documents that might otherwise sit unread in warehouses scattered in various locations. After Ripcord digitizes records, customers can upload them into Ripcord’s Web-based system, where they can be classified and searched. The data can also be connected to business software made by companies including SAP, Oracle, and NetSuite.

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