Ricoh acquires software startup natif.ai with advanced AI technology

Ricoh Company, Ltd. has announced the acquisition of natif.ai, a German software startup company offering artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled Intelligent Capture, advanced image recognition and optical character recognition (OCR) technologies. This acquisition enhances data extraction function of Ricoh’s Process Automation portfolio from various documents, including paper and handwritten documents, enabling Ricoh to offer customers automation and sophistication in a wide range of business processes.

In the Process Automation business domain, one of Ricoh’s growth areas, Ricoh supports customers around the world to improve efficiency and advance their operations with a wide range of end-to-end integrated solutions. This begins with data capture and processing with our portfolio of edge devices (including multifunction printers (MFP) and scanners), as well as the management of document and workflow management applications, outsourcing services, and intelligence process automation and sophistication. Ricoh has been enhancing value proposition to its customers by not only developing its own products and services but also making strategic investments to acquire various technologies and services. The acquisition of natif.ai is part of that initiative.

natif.ai is a software startup company founded in Germany in 2019. In addition to its strength in Intelligent Capture, leading image recognition and OCR technologies that utilise AI. natif.ai provides a service platform for document classification and data extraction, as well as research and development of high-performance AI models and advanced OCR technology through machine learning. These technologies enable improved accuracy in reading unstructured data and automatic data extraction from a variety of non-standard business documents such as invoices, order forms, and contracts.

The acquisition was made Ricoh Group company DocuWare (headquartered in Germany) which provides Document and Content Services and workflow automation. By combining DocuWare and natif.ai’s Intelligent Indexing technologies, a new level of AI powered capture and automation will be available, which can be applied to a wider range of business areas. Furthermore, natif.ai's technology, expertise, and human resources will support the evolution of Ricoh's various products, services, and solutions to offer further value and a superior customer experience.

Takahiro Irisa, Senior Corporate Officer and President of Ricoh Digital Services Business Unit, Ricoh Company, Ltd., says, “We are delighted to welcome natif.ai to the Ricoh Group. natif.ai's advanced technology is imperative to our growth, and this has been a strategic decision to cater Ricoh solutions to evolving customer needs. As a global workplace services provider, we are dedicated in liberating people from task work by leveraging AI technology, in addition to the document and process technologies we have cultivated over the years. Ricoh will continue to work closely with our customers to provide new value, unleash their creativity, and realise a sustainable society where people feel fulfilment through their work.”

Company data of natif.ai

Company Name: Natif.ai GmbH
Establishment: 2019
Location: Saarbrücken, Germany
Business: Provider for document automation, High-performance AI models and a Deep-OCR developed in-house, Automate and classify documents independently via a platform, etc.
Number of employees: 46
Date of acquisition of shares: April 2, 2024

| About Ricoh |

Ricoh is empowering digital workplaces using innovative technologies and services enabling individuals to work smarter. For more than 80 years, Ricoh has been driving innovation and is a leading provider of document management solutions, IT services, commercial and industrial printing, digital cameras, and industrial systems. Headquartered in Tokyo, Ricoh Group operates in approximately 200 countries and regions. In the financial year ended March 2017, Ricoh Group had worldwide sales of 2,028 billion yen (approx. 18.2 billion USD)

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Simone John, Ricoh SA
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