Artificial intelligence company Rossum has raised £72 million for its smart document management platform.

The Series A round is a record for an Eastern European firm, although it is now based in London.

Heavyweight US VC General Catalyst led the round, with previous investors LocalGlobe, Seedcamp, Miton and Elad Gil participating.

Rossum is creating a universal document gateway designed to help the corporate world move faster and complete transactions in minutes. Rossum’s founders, three PhD students who dropped out of university to start the business, are automating the whole business communication stack with a view to making bureaucratic, costly and time-consuming document communication frictionless and paperless.

Rossum has seen year-on-year growth of five times in the last 12 months as established businesses and startups have woken up to the impact that robotic process automation can make to their productivity and resourcing. 

Businesses including Bosch, Siemens, Veolia, EY and Adyen use the AI-based B2B platform to exchange and process all sorts of documents, without overhauling the existing infrastructure of email and PDF.

The funding will be used to hire more high skill engineering and AI talent at Rossum, which is seeing particularly strong demand for its products in North America, Western Europe and the Asia Pacific region. 

The funds will also be used to open new company hubs in the US, Europe and Asia and plans to open a research center in Prague, dedicated to B2B document communication, in cooperation with Czech universities. 

“There is a hidden opportunity in the fact that every single product in the world requires hundreds of companies to cooperate, and that produces thousands of transactions. As market leaders in document AI technology, we are in a unique position to transform the way these transactions are communicated and processed,” said Tomas Gogar, Rossum’s CEO.

“Rossum has already saved billions of keystrokes in data entry for our clients. Now we are saving people’s time across the whole process of transaction handling by building an end-to-end business communication platform. 

“Businesses large and small are waking up to the huge gains that they will make from such a system and they trust us to deliver it.”

Reshma Sohoni, founding partner at Seedcamp, said: “It is remarkable that three AI scientists from Prague dropped out from academia to start a business and five years later they are leading a company of 140, serving some of the world’s top brands and building something exceptional. 

“The storylines of lightning speed growth like UiPath, Celonis and now Rossum show how the CEE region is becoming a true global powerhouse of AI and automation. 

“Again and again, we see the combination of great business ambition and deep technical skill from this region.”