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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Automation Anywhere, a robotic process automation company valued at $6.8 billion last fall by venture capitalists, began laying off hundreds of employees on Monday, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic will push more enterprises toward automated software, but the shift isn't happening fast enough to stem top-line losses for Silicon Valley companies like AA.

What they're saying:

"Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the changes it has brought to the global economy, Automation Anywhere is adjusting operations and restructuring parts of the company, which will result in a workforce reduction. Although we are confident in the company’s strength and ability to grow going forward, given the current circumstances, we must reduce expenses in some areas and realign our resources to new skill sets in key growth areas, such as cloud and digital, that offer higher value service to customers."
— Automation Anywhere spokesperson

Automation Anywhere declined to specify how many of its 2,600 employees are receiving pink slips, although Axios has heard the number is north of 10%.

Investors: The San Jose, California-based company has raised $840 million in venture capital funding from firms like SoftBank, Salesforce Ventures, Goldman Sachs, NEA, Workday Ventures, General Atlantic and World Innovation Lab.

Go deeper

China deems all cryptocurrency transactions illegal

A person walking past China's central bank in Beijing in August 2007. Photo: Teh Eng Koon/AFP via Getty Images

China's central bank declared on Friday that all cryptocurrencies are illegal, banning crypto-related transactions and cryptocurrency mining, according to Reuters.

Why it matters: China's government is now following through with its goal of cracking down on unofficial virtual currencies, which it has said are a financial, social and national security risk and a contributor to global warming.

Biden's big bet backfires

Two key dealmakers — Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) — leave a luncheon in the Capitol yesterday. Photo: Kent Nishimura/L.A. Times via Getty Images

President Biden bit off too much, too fast in trying to ram through what would be the largest social expansion in American history, top Democrats privately say.

Why it matters: At the time Biden proposed it, he had his mind set on a transformational accomplishment that would put him in the pantheon of FDR and JFK.

Biden sinks in swing districts

Photo: Biden speaks about wild fires and climate change in Sacramento on September 13, 2021. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/ AFP via Getty Images

Sudden doubts about President Biden's competence — on Afghanistan, immigration and COVID — are driving double-digit drops in his approval in private polling in swing House seats, The Cook Political Report's Amy Walter writes.

Why it matters: "[T]hese early mistakes go directly to the very rationale of his presidency; that it would be low drama and high competence."