Sramana Mitra: Where are they getting traction in terms of customers? I assume they’re going after enterprise customers. Where? What segment? What kind of use cases are they getting the most traction in?
Ondrej Bartos: This is very different from then and now. UiPath is now is a company with over 2,000 employees with nine-digit recurring revenues. I believe it’s around $180 million ARR these days. Back then, we thought that the most logical way to start would be financial services and BPO’s. Those were the segment that we went after.
We did get traction. The initial growth of UiPath in 2016 and a good portion of 2017 was really based on inbound. It somehow happens that the company timed its go-to market so well that, all of the sudden, there was a lot of demand for automation for software robotics automation. It started going into segments that we didn’t think would be the most obvious like healthcare, public, and insurance.
Sramana Mitra: In the other 41 deals that you’ve invested in, what are some of the trends? What kind of stuff have you started seeing success with?
Ondrej Bartos: This is something which will be somewhat specific to our region. You have to bear in mind that we’re in Central Eastern Europe, which, on one hand, is known for good solid technical and engineering talent. On the other hand, we suffer from lack of marketing, sales talent, and experience.
What we started seeing as a trend is that the more successful companies in our portfolio are the ones that are led by people who have had previous exposure and experience with the hardworking culture environment. These are people who have worked in startups before or who have gone through a Google or Facebook experience as employees. People who even worked with consultancies – the McKinsey’s and BCG’s of this world. I wouldn’t necessarily call those people diasporas because some of them never left the region per se.
Many of the successful founders that we see have had some previous experience with Silicon Valley, London, and Berlin. The founder of UiPath is one example. He spent a couple of years in Redmond working for Microsoft before he went back to Romania and eventually founded UiPath.
Sramana Mitra: What conclusions are you drawing? What best practices are you replicating across the portfolio vis-à-vis setting up a Silicon Valley or a US presence? What’s your UiPath trajectory? What’s the trajectory of your most successful to scale?
Ondrej Bartos: I have to say that UiPath still is a big outlier in the region. Actually it’s one of the fastest growing enterprise software companies of all time.