, September 26, 2021

UiPath shares surge on stock exchange debut


  •   2 min reads
UiPath shares surge on stock exchange debut

Shares in Robotics Process Automation company UiPath surged on the stock exchange debut, with the company’s market cap at over $35 billion.

This morning we were told that the stock market debut of UiPath was something of a disappointment.  In February, the RPA company’s final private fundraising round saw its share price at $62.28, giving it a $35 billion valuation. But with all the recent talk of tech bubbles and fears that the SaaS, or software as a service, model becoming overhyped, the IPO share price was just $56. The disappointment was short-lived indeed; at the time of writing, shares are trading at $69+.

For Daniel Dines, the UiPath CEO and founder, and other longer-standing shareholdings, it must be time for celebration. UIPath’s growth has been phenomenal indeed.

But then the growth has been phenomenal too. In November 2008, it boasted that annual recurring revenue had increased from $1 million to $150 million over a two year period. That was impressive indeed, but how could momentum like that be continued? Last July, it revealed annual recurring revenue of $400 million and they're now above $600 million.

Critics will say the company’s valuation is an example of a tech bubble.  But the growth rate has been extraordinary, and so is the company’s ambition — 'a robot on every desk'.

That will never be realised literally; the RPA robots are software, enabling the automation of repetitive targets.

But the potential benefits of RPA or intelligent automation as it is also called are also considerable. Not only can RPA automate tasks that we all find dull, it can eliminate human error from the collection and keying in of data.

RPA and AI are not the same, but the latter version of RPA has a strong AI element.

Inevitably, fears have grown that RPA type products could lead to job losses, but UiPath, along with its main rivals Automation Anywhere and BluePrism, have been quick to argue against this, suggesting instead that RPA will be free up workers to focus on more interesting and fun tasks.

Techopian CEO and veteran of the RPA industry, Rob Hughes, commented:

“UiPath are live and trading on the NYSE. They have listed at a reasonable price and are already seeing double-digit upside. Yet they are already being asked if they have left money on the table? While BluePrism has been trading for several years now, the UiPath IPO has been hotly anticipated due to their broader tech stack and more significant number of customers. This is big news for the RPA market but begs the question, where is Automation Anywhere? Listing in the near future seems to be the obvious move. Big congratulations to the UiPath team."

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