Enterprise

UiPath CFO says public debut shows it’s still ‘an extremely positive market’ for enterprise software

The company's shares jumped 23% on its first day of trading on the Nasdaq.

UiPath CFO says public debut shows it’s still ‘an extremely positive market’ for enterprise software

Overall, the company brought in $1.34 billion through its IPO.

Image: UiPath

UiPath shares jumped 23% on Wednesday on the company's first day of trading on Wall Street, a testament to the continued interest among investors in the software industry.

But despite that success, there remain questions over whether a red-hot sector defined recently by blockbuster IPOs could be cooling down ahead of other major public offerings. The slowdown in the broader market, for example, forced UiPath to price shares for its public offering below those sold in a private fundraising round in February, according to its top financial chief.

"We're in line with how the market has moved," CFO Ashim Gupta told Protocol. "We're still in an extremely positive market for great enterprise software companies … [and] looking at it just versus February or January is too short of [a] time frame."

Overall, the company, which is a leader in the fast-growing robotic process automation market, and its selling shareholders brought in $1.34 billion through its IPO — less than what Qualtrics and Snowflake accrued in their market debuts, but still a monumental figure.

Similar to how Snowflake's public offering was viewed as a bellwether for the booming data analytics market, the industry is watching UiPath's IPO closely given it's one of the few major AI-backed firms to go public. C3.ai, which is owned by software pioneer Tom Siebel, held its public offering in December; shares are now down 44% from the debut.

When asked how UiPath plans to avoid the same fate, Gupta cited the company's growth to date as evidence it can maintain value to investors and the potential $60 billion market opportunity.

"The best way to combat hype is by progress," he said. "Putting up substantive progress and substantive financial numbers … that is what is going to continue to drive a substantive valuation."

UiPath reported an 81% jump in revenue in fiscal year 2021 to $607.6 million, a bump that was partially due to major cuts to marketing and product development. The company also cites its retention rate as a big differentiator: On average, customers increased spending on UiPath by 45% in FY 2021 over the prior year.

While there have been a slew of major software IPOs in recent months, more are looming. Databricks, for example, which just raised $1 billion and is valued at $28 billion, is plotting its own IPO as soon as this year.

Workplace

The tools that make you pay for not getting stuff done

Some tools let you put your money on the line for productivity. Should you bite?

Commitment contracts are popular in a niche corner of the internet, and the tools have built up loyal followings of people who find the extra motivation effective.

Photoillustration: Anna Shvets/Pexels; Protocol

Danny Reeves, CEO and co-founder of Beeminder, is used to defending his product.

“When people first hear about it, they’re kind of appalled,” Reeves said. “Making money off of people’s failure is how they view it.”

Keep Reading Show less
Lizzy Lawrence

Lizzy Lawrence ( @LizzyLaw_) is a reporter at Protocol, covering tools and productivity in the workplace. She's a recent graduate of the University of Michigan, where she studied sociology and international studies. She served as editor in chief of The Michigan Daily, her school's independent newspaper. She's based in D.C., and can be reached at llawrence@protocol.com.

Sponsored Content

Foursquare data story: leveraging location data for site selection

We take a closer look at points of interest and foot traffic patterns to demonstrate how location data can be leveraged to inform better site selecti­on strategies.

Imagine: You’re the leader of a real estate team at a restaurant brand looking to open a new location in Manhattan. You have two options you’re evaluating: one site in SoHo, and another site in the Flatiron neighborhood. Which do you choose?

Keep Reading Show less

Elon Musk has bots on his mind.

Photo: Christian Marquardt/Getty Images

Elon Musk says he needs proof that less than 5% of Twitter's users are bots — or the deal isn't going ahead.

Keep Reading Show less
Jamie Condliffe

Jamie Condliffe ( @jme_c) is the executive editor at Protocol, based in London. Prior to joining Protocol in 2019, he worked on the business desk at The New York Times, where he edited the DealBook newsletter and wrote Bits, the weekly tech newsletter. He has previously worked at MIT Technology Review, Gizmodo, and New Scientist, and has held lectureships at the University of Oxford and Imperial College London. He also holds a doctorate in engineering from the University of Oxford.

Policy

Nobody will help Big Tech prevent online terrorism but itself

There’s no will in Congress or the C-suites of social media giants for a new approach, but smaller platforms would have room to step up — if they decided to.

Timothy Kujawski of Buffalo lights candles at a makeshift memorial as people gather at the scene of a mass shooting at Tops Friendly Market at Jefferson Avenue and Riley Street on Sunday, May 15, 2022 in Buffalo, NY. The fatal shooting of 10 people at a grocery store in a historically Black neighborhood of Buffalo by a young white gunman is being investigated as a hate crime and an act of racially motivated violent extremism, according to federal officials.

Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The shooting in Buffalo, New York, that killed 10 people over the weekend has put the spotlight back on social media companies. Some of the attack was livestreamed, beginning on Amazon-owned Twitch, and the alleged shooter appears to have written about how his racist motivations arose from misinformation on smaller or fringe sites including 4chan.

In response, policymakers are directing their anger at tech platforms, with New York Governor Kathy Hochul calling for the companies to be “more vigilant in monitoring” and for “a legal responsibility to ensure that such hate cannot populate these sites.”

Keep Reading Show less
Ben Brody

Ben Brody (@ BenBrodyDC) is a senior reporter at Protocol focusing on how Congress, courts and agencies affect the online world we live in. He formerly covered tech policy and lobbying (including antitrust, Section 230 and privacy) at Bloomberg News, where he previously reported on the influence industry, government ethics and the 2016 presidential election. Before that, Ben covered business news at CNNMoney and AdAge, and all manner of stories in and around New York. He still loves appearing on the New York news radio he grew up with.

We're answering all your questions about the crypto crash.

Photo: Chris Liverani/Unsplash

People started talking about another crypto winter in January, when falling prices had wiped out $1 trillion in value from November’s peak. Prices rallied back in March, restoring some of the losses. Then crypto fell hard again, with bitcoin down more than 60% from its all-time high and other cryptocurrencies harder hit. The market’s message was clear: Crypto winter was no longer coming. It’s here.

If you’ve got questions about the crypto crash, the Protocol Fintech team has answers.

Keep Reading Show less
Latest Stories
Bulletins