CNBC Disruptor 50

50. UiPath

Founders: Daniel Dines (CEO), Marius Tirca
Launched: 2005
Headquarters: New York City
Funding:
 $977.2 million
Valuation: $7.1 billion
Key technologies:
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics
Industry:
 Enterprise software, business automation
Previous appearances on Disruptor 50 List: 0

George Kavallines

UiPath is a robotic process automation company. That means it uses artificial intelligence to build software robots that let companies automate back-office, repetitive and time-consuming tasks. The goal is to move humans away from this work and allow them to focus on things that bring more value to a company. Investors see great promise in this: UiPath has raised a whopping $977.2 million in funding from investors, including Coatue, Dragoneer, Sands Capital and Wellington, giving it a valuation of around $7 billion. The company claims to have annual revenues of about $360 million and more than 6,300 customers, including Amazon, Bank of America and Verizon. It says 50% of Fortune 20 companies are clients.

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The company began by focusing on internal and back-office tasks in areas like accounting, human resources and claims processing: business areas with a lot of paperwork and labor-intensive tasks. Now the company has added front-office areas, including customer-facing tasks that can also be repetitive and are ripe for automation. By using many of the facets of AI — computer vision, natural-language processing and voice recognition — UiPath can help companies automate these segments as well.

As companies use AI and other advanced technologies to help them with digital transformation, the whole topic of robotics seems eerily dystopian. The worry is that robots will replace humans in all kinds of tasks, repetitive and otherwise. UiPath says its software isn't out to replace humans, but rather enable them to focus on parts of their job that only humans can do.

A look back at the CNBC Disruptor 50: 8 years, 209 companies