Getting to the bottom of UiPath’s plunging valuation
Just over a year ago, UiPath was among the most favored startups in the world. Last February the company raised a massive $750 million round at a staggering $35 billion valuation. The robotic process automation, or RPA company, was firing on all cylinders.
By the time that UiPath went public in April of last year, its final private price looked a bit, well, pricey. The company’s early IPO price range was underneath its last valuation, but after raising that range and pricing above it, the unicorn was still valued at a modest deficit to that $35 billion figure.
During its first day’s trading however, the company managed to crest the price set by its round worth three-quarters of a billion dollars. TechCrunch chatted with the company’s CFO about its method of going public at that time, and the timing of its debut for more context; the executive praised the ability to attract new investors in a traditional offering, instead of the more trendy direct listing option.
UiPath’s value shot to as much as $90 per share, pushing its valuation to around $43 billion per YCharts data.
Since then, however, things have gone poorly for UiPath, at least in valuation terms. The company was down over 3% at $18.29 per share on Friday afternoon, bringing its valuation under $10 billion. From red-hot unicorn to uneven IPO, to strong early trading, to a painful descent — what went wrong with UiPath?
TechCrunch has two hypotheses: The first being that the company simply got caught up in a broad repricing of technology revenues by public-market investors; this is not a new story, and if it explains the UiPath valuation declines would put the technology concern in good company. However, there could also be a technology-related explanation at play, as well. And, of course, both factors could be at play at once.
To understand what may have happened with UiPath’s disappearing valuation, let’s first talk numbers and then riff on the tech side of the coin!
Did UiPath just get hit by the market’s technology repricing?
UiPath remains a company on the move. In the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2022 — in English, the three months ending January 31, 2022 — the RPA market leader reported revenues of $289.7 million in total revenue and a quarter-ending annual recurring revenue (ARR) figure of $925.3 million. From those data points you can see how the public markets have changed their mind about the value of software revenue.
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