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UiPath Rises in Trading Debut After $1.3 Billion Software IPO

Katie Roof and Crystal Tse
·3-min read
UiPath Rises in Trading Debut After $1.3 Billion Software IPO

(Bloomberg) -- Automation software maker UiPath Inc. climbed in its trading debut after its $1.3 billion initial public offering, surpassing its valuation in a private funding round this year.

The shares closed up 23% to $69 Wednesday in New York, giving UiPath a market valuation of about $36 billion and a fully diluted value, including employee stock options and restricted stock units, of more than $38 billion. The company and investors sold almost 24 million shares on Tuesday for $56 each.

While the IPO priced above a marketed range, it still left the company with a lower valuation than in a February financing round. With Wednesday’s trading gains, UiPath exceeded its $35 billion valuation at the time of that $750 million investment.

That round was led by Alkeon Capital and Coatue, according to a statement at the time. A dip in some software stocks since then -- including Snowflake Inc., which is down 18% from Feb. 1 -- played a part in the IPO pricing decision, said a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because the information was private.

UiPath is right below Snowflake, which had a market value of $33 billion at the time of its IPO in September, as one the most valuable software companies to go public on a U.S. exchange. UiPath’s market capitalization was on par with that of Applovin Corp., which also went public this month.

Startups Watching

Silicon Valley startups are watching UiPath as an indication of public investor appetite for new tech stocks, said Carl Eschenbach, a partner at UiPath investor Sequoia.

“Many others will look at this as a benchmark as to what they think about the public markets going forward,” Eschenbach, who is also a UiPath board member, said in an interview. “If the market remains as it is, there will be IPOs throughout the rest of the year, no doubt.”

Sequoia investments include other IPO-bound companies such as Robinhood Markets Inc. and Instacart Inc.

In its IPO, UiPath sold about 9.4 million shares while shareholders including its chairman and backers Accel and Alphabet Inc.’s investment fund offered 14.5 million, according to its filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Started in an apartment in Romania with 10 people in 2005, UiPath now has a presence in close to 30 countries, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Daniel Dines wrote in a letter to investors. “Starting a company from a small place with no market has a hidden advantage: It forces you to think globally from day one,” he wrote.

CEO’s Control

Dines, who is also chairman, owns all of UiPath’s Class B shares, which represent 88.2% of the voting power in the company, the filings shows.

While UiPath moved its headquarters to the U.S. because many of its customers were here, Dines said he believes that startups in some industries could thrive abroad.

“It largely depends on what market you are targeting,” he said in an interview. “It’s very rare that one country has the talent to build a global company.”

Laela Sturdy, a UiPath board member, said her firm, Alphabet’s CapitalG, is looking to invest in more companies in Europe. “The whole European ecosystem is very exciting,” she said.

UiPath, now based in New York, reported a net loss of $92 million on $608 million revenue in the 2021 fiscal year ending Jan. 31. Its net loss narrowed from $520 million a year ago thanks to foreign exchange gains. It had $336 million in revenue a year earlier.

The offering was led by Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase & Co.. UiPath‘s shares are trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol PATH.

(Updates with investor comment in sixth paragraph)

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