Founded Locally but Scaling Globally
At Accel, we share a core belief that category-defining technology companies are founded all over the world. While Silicon Valley remains an epicenter of technology innovation, we have a long history of investing in innovation hubs around the world and see the same spirit of entrepreneurship spreading across the globe
The trends by now are well known: the cost of starting a company has fallen thanks to cloud computing, products can reach customers more efficiently via low-cost distribution through the web or app store, and collaboration tools like Slack or JIRA empower distributed teams to work remotely. Across the globe, we are seeing the rise of leaders and disruptors in the same spirit that shaped Silicon Valley over the last 30 years.
We have long believed that these environments 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. There are many examples of multi-billion dollar successes from this heritage in the Accel family, such as Supercell and Spotify (founded in the Nordics) in the consumer space, to Atlassian and Xero (founded in Australia & New Zealand) and Slack and Qualtrics (founded in North America, but outside Silicon Valley) in the enterprise space.
Since “necessity is often the mother of invention”, there’s a refreshing scrappiness that comes from great entrepreneurs in these markets, where there is less easily accessible capital sloshing around. This can also translate into greater operational discipline where every dollar of investment is more carefully deployed in order to more cost-efficiently scale the business.
This, after all, echoes a mindset that has led to so many ground-breaking companies in Silicon Valley. It’s why we think of Silicon Valley not just as a physical place. We’re seeing the fast-growth, entrepreneurial ethos within Silicon Valley successfully replicated in many other places. We constantly seek out these great entrepreneurs around the globe.
Deepening our Partnership with the UiPath Team
In this spirit, today we’re excited to announce a $153 million investment in UiPath, the company leading the transformation of the “intelligent enterprise.” UiPath is the leader in the fast-growing robotic process automation (RPA) space. The company was founded in Bucharest, Romania by CEO Daniel Dines and team, and is now headquartered in New York.
We’ve been fortunate to partner with this remarkable founder and his team since UiPath’s Series A in Q1 2017 (led by our partner Luciana Lixandru). It’s deeply rewarding to have the opportunity to expand our partnership today alongside CapitalG and KPCB, who’ve joined us in this round to assist UiPath through its next phase of growth.
The new financing will be used to accelerate the development of the company’s product roadmap, particularly around innovations that integrate machine learning and AI algorithms within a customers’ digital business operations. UiPath, which added offices in Houston, Seattle, Washington, DC, Munich and Paris this quarter, will also use the proceeds to further expanding its international operations. The company now employs more than 500 professionals across 10 countries.
Software & The Intelligent Enterprise
Across the many categories that we see, RPA has become one of the fastest growing areas in enterprise technology. UiPath is pioneering the field of RPA: technology that uses machine learning to automate repeatable tasks. The company’s platform enables the rapid design and deployment of software robots that perfectly emulate and execute repetitive and often tedious processes, boosting business productivity, ensuring compliance and enhancing customer service across both back-office and front-office operations. Think of it as software-based assistance for people which allows for a more productive, “intelligent enterprise.”
In just two short years, UiPath has added over 700 major enterprise customers which includes global companies like Allianz, Dentsu Inc., GE, HP, Walmart, VMware, and SMBC. UiPath has grown annual recurring revenue (ARR) by an incredible 8x in this past year. The company has also cultivated a community of over 120,000 RPA developers, and has launched the UiPath Academy to further democratize access to RPA coding and development.
In the buzz and discussions about AI/ML in the enterprise, we are focused on companies offering solutions that are driving real business value now. RPA is doing exactly that, and the cost and efficiency gains that UiPath customers are enjoying today are both dramatic and tangible. Areas like invoice matching and data entry can sound obscure and mundane, but the challenges they present are real, complex, and solvable with RPA. Adoption of AI in the enterprise will involve many technologies over the next decade, but we believe RPA — and UiPath — will be at the heart of them all.
The Path Forward
Daniel and his team have continued to impress us greatly. They’ve clearly developed a strong, fast-growing business. But what really stands out to us is the intensity of the company’s customer-centric culture and the team’s long-term commitment to building a durable global leader in this space. We are honored to continue to play a small role in supporting UiPath on their journey.
— Accel Partners: Philippe Botteri, Miles Clements, Rich Wong