UiPath: The First Romanian Unicorn
Until the beginning of the 20th century, managing daily repetitive tasks was an uphill struggle for a lot of workers worldwide.
As the century passed on, the technological boom received global praise for its countless benefits and perks. One such technological wonder was the Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Software, and it seemed to have emerged at the right place and at the right time.
Although RPA dates back to the 2000s, it was not as appealing of a concept- not until Daniel Dines and Marius Tirca brought it closer to the wider mass. The two co-founders learned to rise up from their mistakes and turn them into something fruitful- a rising global leader in the world of bots.
Learn more about the trailblazing voyage of UiPath - from incognito brand to a pure technological revolution:
The Writer That Learned Math
Hailing from Onești, Romania, things were pretty tight for Daniel Dines's family of seven and salary of only two. As hard as it was for his teacher mother and civil engineer father to raise the five children into successful individuals, the parents neglected not a single child, and allowed them to choose their own path from very early on.
Sadly, the country's economy in the 90s made their upbringing even more challenging. High inflation brought uncertainty to those struggling to make ends meet; the wages did not exceed 50 dollars a month, and people grew weary with hardships.
Seeking a way to enter a funner environment and release the burden of society, Daniel became an avid science-fiction reader. At the time, his favorite book was Jack London's Martin Eden, a book about a youngster that had his work cut out for him to become a writer. Reading endlessly and avidly gave Daniel the encouragement to try as a novelist himself. He spent his high school years trying to improve his writing abilities and grow his literary skills. Dejectedly, a few years later, Daniel realized he was not destined to be a writer, and needed a wider range of options to consider.
For the time being, he was left to his own devices to choose a life-path that would aid him to pave his way to success, and part ways with his financial troubles. From an artistic wannabe, Daniel turned to solving math problems and ultimately enrolled at the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science in Bucharest, graduating in 1997.
Paving the Way To Success
Even though a holder of a degree, Daniel realized that climbing the jobs ladder in this field meant earning no more than $50 a month. Frightened that he won't accomplish his dreams to earn more than your typical wage, Daniel turned to others for advice. Luckily, a friend of his had dived into the programming waters a couple years back and advised Daniel to enroll in programming, where the standard wage rounded at 'incredible' $300.
This was a turning point in Daniel's life- the desire to live large was burning within him- and he grasped the first chance presented to him. Immersing in the world of programming by self-education, borrowing books from libraries, and analyzing every C++ detail helped him get his first job as a developer lead in Crinsoft.
At the time, Crinsoft didn't have enough computers for all employees, so everyone worked in shifts and took turns. Daniel, who was unfortunate enough to work the graveyard shift, began spicing up his knowledge and focused on fully educating himself on various different platforms.
With the arrival of 2001, Daniel’s expertise led him to a job offer from Microsoft, a proposition he couldn’t refuse. He packed his bags, said his goodbyes and moved to the US to pursue his dream of becoming a master of his profession. What was once writing for kicks now turned to writing entire computer programs for a mogul he could only learn from.
In his five years at Microsoft, Daniel mastered even more computer languages, but even so, several aspects posed a great learning challenge to him. Understanding only half of what his colleagues spoke about during meetings, and unable to express his own opinion, Daniel often felt like he didn't belong. Without focusing on his learning in the name of others, Daniel left Microsoft and headed back to Romania to open his own business.
Change Your Perception, Then Change the World!
When he first set foot in the US, in 2004, Daniel knew that his little experience couldn't serve him much for pursuing his dream job. The only thing left for him to do was to build something on his own. However, there was no denying that the times were hard, and Daniel realized he stood little chance of succeeding solo. Therefore, he reached out to a friend called Marius Tirca. Both then debated on ideas and concepts to help them open a new and promising company. One day the bulb went up, and the two had the idea in their hands- to provide essential integration services intended for Microsoft, IBM, and Google. In just under a year of developing the idea, the twosome’s first company, DeskOver, was launched.
During the first six years since its launch, the company was growing unimpressively, having only ten employees, and a humble group of customers. As expected, the team made a few wrongful calls that additionally derailed the company’s growth. One of these setbacks was the effort to build a start-up while distracting themselves with additional consulting work and outsourcing at the same time. Of course, the two soon realized this way of doing business would make it harder for them to find investing angels. The way they operated the company was a show of laziness, too, which was in neither Daniel’s nor Marius’ natures.
Unfortunately, in 2011 DeskOver lost their most influential customer, out of the very few they had, which led to the brand’s downfall. Although close to shutting down, Daniel and Marius felt that this was not a time for them to raise the flag of surrender. Instead, they saw an opportunity where others saw failure, and channeled the company to inevitable success by building a cleverly developed RPA platform.
Various mistakes later, Daniel and Marius shifted their primary focus on providing top-notch client services instead of just scraping for earnings. They were aware that building a tool that solves mundane tasks would serve people far better than any human efforts in the field.
Back then, this decision did not seem as detrimental as it would turn out to be. For the time being, the only thing Daniel and Marius knew was that good things come to those who wait and work hard- and that’s where the journey took them next.
Sky-High Within a Year
After two years in the making, the young entrepreneurs saw a sudden rise in business, when an Indian large BPO took interest in their work. The BPO company compared DeskOver with other RPA vendors, and noticed their remarkable efforts unseen in their competitors.
Once the spark was lit, the company went for rebranding and changed its name to UiPath. Contracts with other BPO firms worldwide were signed, and important business moves were made, ultimately landing the company’s headquarters in NYC.
The door inside the virtual robot world was wide open for Daniel and Marius, and by 2014, the enterprise turned over a majestic $500,000 in revenue.
By 2015, UiPath abruptly enlarged its team from only 10 to staggering 150 employees. Ever since, the company has grown its customer base even further, ultimately opening ten offices across the globe.
UiPath’s seed round was raised by EarlyBird Venture Capital in 2015. A year later, the second funding of $30 million came from Accel. UiPath received its biggest funding by Goatue in 2018, a ravishing $568 million investment.
It took UiPath a total of seven rounds of funding to finally meet its goal, with the last being a massive $225 million check by Alkeon Capital.
Together with the progress of UiPath, Daniel also keeps his focus on facilitating everyday processes for countless users around the world.
In 2020, UiPath estimated a revenue of more than $400 million, a tremendous achievement for a wannabe novel writer. With over 3,000 employees and 5,000 customers, UiPath remains a global leader in providing practical software solutions in every corner of the world.
While it was hard labor that helped Daniel and Marius win the race of programming excellence, their brand wouldn't have served such a good purpose if it hadn’t been for their unshaken humility and aid in facilitating this tech-crazed society! Great thinking, guys!