UiPath: The First European Cloud Decacorn is Born
As we boarded our flight back to London in early February 2017, leaving behind the Bucharest winter, our team was incredibly excited by the two days we spent with Daniel and his team. Yet, it was hard to imagine that a short three and half years later UiPath would become the first European Cloud Decacorn.
What an incredible journey for this company born in Romania. This new financing of $225m valuing the company at a post-money of $10.2B is an incredible milestone, rewarding one of the fastest-growing cloud software companies of this generation.
This success is the testament of the hard work and relentless ambition of the founder, Daniel Dines and his co-founder Marius Tirca. Together, with a passionate and dedicated team, they pushed the limits of global growth, democratized the access to automation technology, and transformed the way enterprises of any size could harness the power of automation.
"COVID-19 has heightened the critical need for automation...we are committed to working harder to help our customers evolve, transform, and succeed fast in the new normal"
Daniel Dines, founder UiPath
We feel very fortunate and grateful to have been part of this journey from the early days, leading the series A in 2017 and the series B in 2018, and to have supported the company in every financing round since including the recently announced Series E this week.
While much of startup entrepreneurship activity historically centered in Silicon Valley, at Accel, we believed many years ago that Silicon Valley was not only a place but a state of mind. Technology entrepreneurship is exploding around the world and we seek to connect with the next generation of entrepreneurs everywhere, leveraging our offices in London and Bangalore. UiPath and Daniel Dines are the perfect example of a company founded locally but scaled globally.
It is a privilege to be working with this visionary team, and it has not always been an easy ride. Hypergrowth creates its own challenges and it is hard to build solid processes when you are running at 100 miles per hour. The company had to streamline its processes at the end of last year. Then came COVID, the black swan. And again, UI Path showed its resilience and adapted very quickly to this new environment, making some disciplined choices but emerging bigger and stronger, with more than $400m ARR run rate.
Cloud Decacorn: big milestone for Europe
We all remember 10 years ago when the number one question was “Can Europe generate a $1B company”. Old times! With this financing, Europe is marking its first Cloud decacorn, following in the steps of Supercell and Spotify on the consumer side. This is a significant milestone for an ecosystem which has experienced exponential growth in the past decade.
The combination of strong tech Universities, the growing interest from large enterprises to embark on their digital transformation and the rising level of ambition of the new generation of entrepreneurs creates a fertile ground for innovation.
The ecosystem, which was mostly centred around London and Tel Aviv 20 years ago, has become increasingly more fragmented with the emergence of 10-12 hubs across the region. Our last 25 software investments were based in more than 13 cities, including Altrincham outside Manchester and Aarhus in Denmark. It shows that innovation can come from anywhere in the continent and “Silicon Valley” is a state of mind.
We came to Europe 20 years ago, and even though COVID 19 limited our ability to celebrate this milestone, witnessing the first European decacorn is above any celebration we could have hoped for.
Global Cloud Factory
We are very happy to see UiPath, as a European company, join the Accel Cloud decacorn family with other leaders from around the world such as: Atlassian, Crowdstrike, Docusign, Dropbox and Slack. At Accel, we love SaaS and Cloud and have invested close to $4B in 230+ companies globally. We believe that category-defining companies are founded all over the world, and while the first Trillion dollars of cloud market cap has come mostly from US-based companies, we expect the next Trillion dollars to come from many hubs across the globe. These smaller hubs can shape companies with growth-oriented DNA because their founders are required to think beyond their local (often smaller) market to plan for a global business from day one. While Silicon Valley will remain an epicenter of technology innovation, we expect to see an acceleration of cloud entrepreneurship globally, following in the steps of UiPath in Europe, Freshworks in India, Xero in New Zealand and Atlassian in Australia.
Big congrats and thank you to Daniel and his team for this great success and for what it means for the European and global tech ecosystem, and we look forward to continuing our small role in supporting their journey.
“I want a robot for every person”
Daniel Dines, founder UiPath