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Robotic process automation specialist UiPath files to go public

by Louis Stone
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Last valued at $35 billion, RPA company hopes to make IPO splash

Robotic process automation platform developer UiPath plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange. The company, established in Romania in 2005, raised $750 million in a Series F round just this February, valuing the business at $35 billion.

UiPath relies on computer vision and artificial intelligence to help automate repetitive and simple business tasks.

Examples include data entry, processing credit card applications, or scheduling software installations. This can either free up employees from having to do such tasks, or reduce the number of employees required.

Automating away the mundane world

"Much like how self-driving cars emulate human drivers but still reuse the existing car and road infrastructure, we have created a form of automation that emulates people performing a business activity on a computer," CEO Daniel Dines said in a letter to investors.

"This new approach to automation is made possible by integrating and advancing a number of disparate technologies: AI (especially computer vision and machine learning), user interface automation, API integration, workflow automation, orchestration, and low-code development."

In its filing, the company projects a $60 billion addressable market for RPA, but that is currently shared with a number of rivals like Automation Anywhere, Blue Prism, and Pegasystems.

Larger enterprises including SAP, IBM, and ServiceNow are also getting into the RPA space, as is Microsoft, following the acquisition of RPA company Softomotive last May.

UiPath saw $607.6 million in revenue for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, up 81 percent over last year. Net losses fell from $519.9m in 2020 to $92.3m in 2021. The company has nearly 8,000 customers, including Amazon, Uber, Bank of America, and Verizon.

UiPath claims that Covid-19 has ramped up the need for automation, as pandemic-hit businesses look for new ways to reduce costs and boost productivity.

RPA market revenues were projected to reach $1.89 billion in 2021, an increase of 19.5 percent from 2020, Gartner reported last September.

“The key driver for RPA projects is their ability to improve process quality, speed and productivity, each of which is increasingly important as organizations try to meet the demands of cost reduction during COVID-19,” Fabrizio Biscotti, research VP at Gartner, said at the time.

“Enterprises can quickly make headway on their digital optimization initiatives by investing in RPA software, and the trend isn’t going away anytime soon.”

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