Vargha Moayed is UiPath’s Chief Strategy Officer and Leading Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and AI Software Provider.
Over the last five years, UiPath has grown tremendously, from a humble beginning in Bucharest, Romania, to becoming a world leader in the automation market. Every success is unique and has its own elements, but I think our experience points to a bigger trend: the rise of a global tech entrepreneurship.
Until about seven years ago, most technology global success stories had one thing in common. It was generated almost exclusively in Silicon Valley and was supported by an unparalleled tech entrepreneurial ecosystem and access to experienced VC funding.
In 2013, the term unicorn was first coined to mean a private startup worth over $ 1 billion, but only four places in the world created unicorns. But by 2019, that number has skyrocketed to 84 worldwide. Therefore, while Silicon Valley continues to be a powerhouse of innovation, the fundamental forces that enable the rise of innovation giants elsewhere are at work.
Key factors driving global technology growth
To start a technology business, it’s important for the founding team to inspire trust. So, for a long time, Silicon Valley venture capital has only invested in companies that can ride bicycles. They knew the founder’s reputation directly.
This is changing. The rise of international trust networks such as YPO, the CEO’s global leadership community with approximately 29,000 members in more than 130 countries. Techstars, a global network of incubator programs. And Endeavor, an NGO with a branch in Romania, of which I am a member of the Board, all aims to scrutinize and guide the founding team and pave the way for international cooperation in talent and financing.
This helps build early global trust. The Covid-19 crisis illustrates this clearly, with US-based VCs investing globally through virtual meetings with teams that are part of these types of networks.
In addition, teams need to build cost-effective and fast minimum viable products (MVPs). Doing so has never been easier or cheaper. Today, prototype UX / UI apps for validating ideas and creating investor marketing usually cost between $ 7,000 and $ 20,000, depending on the location. Medium and complex apps can cost up to $ 120,000.
This is a result of the widespread availability of global technology infrastructure through cloud computing.
Seed Capital is also more widely available around the world. According to the OECD, VC startups and other early-stage investments have increased significantly outside the United States over the last decade. For example, Romania’s investment in 2010 was just under $ 2.7 million. It rose to $ 18.9 million in 2019 and declined in 2020, but remained high at $ 8.7 million.
At the same time, new ways to sell worldwide, product-driven market development strategies, have dramatically reduced global scaling barriers.
The product-driven market development model, successfully pioneered by LogMeIn, a company founded in Hungary, often consists of offering products as cloud SaaS that can be downloaded in the freemium model. Many successful tech companies founded outside the United States, such as Atlassian, Zendesk, Shopify, and Elastic, follow this strategy. In the early days, UiPath used this approach in a free community edition to reach customers around the world, leading to the opening of a real global office.
Another important factor is the ability to attract skilled talent with a wealth of experience and Rolodex. For example, UiPath was considered a startup in 2017, but was able to attract executives from global giants such as SAP, Microsoft, EY, GE, and HP Enterprise. Their expertise continues to be an important element of our scaling ability.
In addition, very large and well-established companies are now ready to buy from young, innovative technology companies. For example, in 2015, while still a small company, UiPath was sold to a large roster of global brands.
Finally, today, capital investment scaling is available to startups everywhere.The Vision Fund has successfully led large funding rounds outside the United States, with some American VC giants such as Sequoia, Axel and Tiger International becoming more and more interested and leading investment rounds outside the United States. doing
At a macro level, approximately $ 130 billion has been invested in over 23,600 equity transactions in tech startups across Europe since 2015. Meanwhile, last year alone, investors invested more than $ 90 billion in about 5,800 transactions with Asia-Pacific-based tech startups.
Start your entrepreneurial journey from anywhere
The challenge now is no longer the environment, but one of the way of thinking and culture. Many entrepreneurs originating from small markets have not yet dared to think big. But they have everything they get, so they should.
UiPath’s journey may seem like the perfect path to global success. However, UiPath succeeded despite making some mistakes that slowed growth. When the company was founded in 2005, we hadn’t yet benefited from a favorable environment and had no idea of a startup. So while working on the automation platform, I used consulting and outsourcing work to bootstrap the company.
Fortunately, you can learn from our mistakes and benefit from a more favorable entrepreneurial environment. We are truly convinced that we are witnessing an important moment in the globalization of innovation.
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