UiPath rose 17% in the company’s stock market debut on Wednesday after the software vendor and its investors reeled in $1.34 billion in the company’s IPO. The shares opened at $65.50.
The company, whose software helps businesses automate repetitive tasks, sold shares Tuesday night at $56 apiece, above its expected price range of $52 to $54. At the opening price, UiPath had a market value of $34 billion, slightly below the $35 billion valuation from a private financing round in February.
If underwriters buy their allotted shares, UiPath’s offering will be the third-biggest ever for a U.S. software company, behind only cloud database vendor Snowflake, which raised $3.9 billion in September, and Qualtrics, which pulled in $1.78 billion in January after spinning out of SAP. UiPath is hitting the market at a time of rapid growth, as businesses from health care to energy producers look for ways to automate operations in their finance, human resources and legal departments.
Revenue surged 81% last year to $607.6 million, and the company’s loss narrowed to $92.4 million from $519.9 million in 2019. UiPath’s gross margin of 89% is among the highest in software.
While UiPath joins a long roster of high-growth cloud software companies to go public in the last three years, its debut comes amid a shift in investor sentiment. After more than doubling in value last year, the WisdomTree Cloud Computing Fund, consisting of 58 publicly traded cloud software vendors, has dropped 6.7% this year, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has climbed 11%, as of Tuesday’s close.
One of UiPath’s greatest strengths is its ability to keep customers and encourage them to increase spending over time. In its last fiscal year, UiPath reported net revenue retention of 145%, meaning the average existing customer increased spending by 45% from the prior year.
UiPath, which ranked 50th on CNBC’s 2020 Disruptor 50 list. was founded in 2005 in Romania by Daniel Dines, a former Microsoft engineer. Dines moved UiPath to the U.S. about a decade later and established a headquarters in New York. Roughly one-quarter of its 2,863 full-time employees are based in Bucharest, Romania.
The stock is trading on the New York Stock Exchange under ticker symbol “PATH.” Dines controls 88% of voting shares and is the largest stakeholder, with over 110 million shares valued at $6.2 billion, based on the IPO price and including some shares sold in the offering.
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