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Automation Anywhere, a 15 year-old robotic process automation company, raised $250 million in Series A funding at a $1.8 billion post-money valuation.

Why it's a big deal: Because the San Jose, Calif.-based company is a test case for the labor force replacement debate, with an outsourced, cognitive bot army that helps global enterprises automate rote tasks like processing insurance claims and mortgage applications.

Per Bernadette Tansey, Xconomy:

"Part of Automation Anywhere’s mission, CEO Mihir Shukla says, is also to use the power of automation to 'remove the mundane from everybody’s life,' allowing human workers to focus on higher-order tasks. From his own observations, he says, the transformation doesn’t shrink the human workforce at client companies. Such companies attract more applicants, Shukla says, because they move fast and create more jobs."

NEA and Goldman Sachs co-led the round, and were joined by General Atlantic and World Innovation Lab.

Go deeper

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, Politico reports.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Editor's note: This story is developing and will be updated.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.

Officials warn 5 key tech sectors will determine whether China overtakes U.S.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

U.S. intelligence officials responsible for protecting advanced technologies have narrowed their focus to five key sectors: artificial intelligence, quantum computing, biotechnology, semiconductors and autonomous systems.

Why it matters: China and Russia are employing a variety of legal and illegal methods to undermine and overtake U.S. dominance in these critical industries, officials warned in a new paper. Their success will determine "whether America remains the world’s leading superpower or is eclipsed by strategic competitors."