UPDATED 14:20 EDT / OCTOBER 24 2019

AI

Eyeing 2020 profitability, UiPath trims 11% of workforce

UiPath Inc., the robotic process automation provider valued at $7 billion, has made a round of layoffs affecting 300 to 400 employees just months after raising $568 million from investors.

The cuts amount to about 11% of the startup’s workforce. Daniel Dines, UiPath’s chief executive officer, wrote in a blog post today that the layoffs are part of a push to improve operational efficiency as the startup works to take itself out of the red. He divulged that UiPath is on track to become profitable next year. 

“Over the last few weeks, I have asked our teams to dive deeper into their operations,” Dines wrote. “In some cases, we identified opportunities to streamline, such as combining our partner sales and direct sales teams in every region.”

UiPath Chief Financial Officer Marie Myers is among the departing employees, but the startup told Forbes that her exit is unrelated to the cuts. Myers is the third senior executive to leave in recent weeks, following Chief Revenue Officer Craig Bumpus and Chief Information Officer Jesse Sublett. 

UiPath’s push to streamline operations follows a period of breakneck expansion. With the help of about $1 billion in outside capital, the startup has expanded its workforce from 150 employees to 3,000 over the past two years and established nearly 30 new offices worldwide.

“I think it’s a function of them getting over their skis on hiring,” said Dave Vellante, chief analyst at SiliconANGLE sister market research firm Wikibon and co-host of theCUBE. He added that “this is likely part of cleaning up the income statement to show prospective investors and bankers better operating leverage” ahead of UiPath’s expected initial public offering. The IPO could reportedly take place as soon as next year.

Dines strongly suggested that the startup’s most recent $568 million round could be its last before going public. He detailed that UiPath is in a position where it no longer needs to raise funding; although he didn’t rule that out depending on market conditions and the timing of any possible IPO.

The startup increased annual recurring revenues from $8 million in April 2017 to over $200 million by April of this year, an increase reflective of the overall RPA market’s explosive growth. RPA software uses machine learning to observe the computer screens of human employees as they interact with business applications and learn from their workflow. After a while, the algorithms under the hood figure out how to perform tasks automatically.

UiPath has 5,000 customers, including 60% of the Fortune Global 500. It competes with the likes of NEA-backed Automation Anywhere Inc. and the U.K.’s Blue Prism Group plc.

Photo: UiPath

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