A first look at UiPath’s IPO filing
This morning, well-known robotic process automation (RPA) unicorn UiPath has filed to go public.
The company’s S-1 filing comes after it raised billions of dollars while private, making it amongst the best-funded startups in history. Over the last year, for example, the company’s rapid-fired fundraising included its Series E and Series F rounds of capital, both of which came inside the last 12 months.
UiPath’s filing details a rapidly growing company. From its fiscal year ending January 31, 2020, to its fiscal year ending January 31, 2021, UiPaths’s revenues grew from $336.2 million to $607.6 million, which translates to just under 81% growth. That top-line expansion brought with it GAAP net income of –$519.9 million in its year ending in early 2020, and -$94.7 million in the year ending January 31 2021.
UiPath was valued privately at $10.2 billion in mid-2020, and $35 billion in early 2021.
For the company’s 27 known investors, the IPO filing is a critical moment. If UiPath can defend its rich private valuation, its IPO could be viewed as a success. However, investors in that final round — Alkeon Capital and Coatue, the investors that also led its Series E — will want to see its market value appreciate.
If UiPath can reach a public valuation of more than $35 billion remains to be seen.
The company’s financials paint the picture of a high-growth company that got its costs in line after a very expensive fiscal year ending January 31, 2020. UiPath cut its sales and marketing costs, its research and development spend, and even its general and administrative budget in its most recent fiscal year. The result is that its gross profit scaled against a smaller cost base. And the result of that was dramatically improved profitability, and cash generation.
As the S-1 notes: “[UiPath’s] operating cash flows were $(359.4) million and $29.2 million and our free cash flows were $(380.4) million and $26.0 million in the fiscal years ended January 31, 2020 and 2021, respectively.” That’s a massive turnaround, perhaps one that’s even more impressive than the company’s improving GAAP net margins.
There’s more to come from UiPath, namely a dive into its quarterly results, which the company says will come in a “subsequent amendment to [its] prospectus.”
All told, UiPath’s most recent fiscal year shows material operating leverage — something that not every software company going public can brag about.