Anyline, an Austrian provider of Optical Character Recognition (OCR), has raised $12 million in Series A funding, led by Berlin-based Project A, supported by existing investors such as Johann ‘Hansi’ Hansmann, Senovo, and the Gernot Langes-Swarovski Foundation. The funding will help the business double its headcount and open an office in Boston.

The Vienna-based startup has developed a technology that allows businesses to digitise documents and analogue information on the go. The mobile text recognition works on any mobile device, even when it is offline. For example, Anyline lets utility companies read meters instantly and accurately, helps police officers to gather data such as driving license, license plate and ID info, and gives logistics companies the power to manage their shipments anywhere.

The immediate digitisation eliminates manual data entry and the mistakes that come with it; plus it completes the work up to 20 times faster.

The global OCR market is predicted to hit $13.38 billion by 2025, according to Grand View Research, and the Austrian company aims to be at the fore front. “We are proud to say European-born technology is helping businesses across the world to reduce the errors, inefficiencies and frustrations that come with manual input. By becoming the market leader in mobile OCR, Anyline plans to be the technology partner businesses need to meet these challenges on the horizon,” commented Lukas Kinigadner, CEO and co-founder.

Since its founding in 2013, Anyline has racked up a portfolio of high-profile clients such as Canon, Porsche, Toyota, IBM, and Pepsi, as well as national governments and the United Nations. To date the company has raised $17 million.

The latest round will help innovate the product beyond the typical OCR use cases. Kinigadner explained: “Anyline plans to use this capital to develop its proprietary Anyline Platform, a pioneering AI-powered solution that allows our customers to develop their own tailor-made OCR solutions. This frees them from the previously fixed nature of OCR technologies and ensuring its functionality is only limited by their creativity.”

To further expansion, the firm has already established Anyline Inc. in the US, ahead of opening the Boston office, and has hired Bryan Boatner, the former Global Sales Director of Cognex Corporation, as the new VP of Sales and Business Development.

Uwe Horstmann, a partner with Project A, commented: “Anyline offers a superior solution in the computer vision business, valuable to both the public sector and private customers. Apart from their reliable state-of-the-art technology, our decision to invest in Anyline is very much based on their amazing team. We are proud and happy to support Anyline financially as well as with our operational services.”

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