🤖 UiPath: The $40B+ automation co.

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The Hustle

Sunday is the Oscars.

This year, the value of the swag bag — goodies given to Academy Awards nominees (whether they win or not) — is $205k. It includes 24-karat vape cartridges, a $12k luxury getaway pass, lots of liquor, and — of course — an NFT.

The big idea
robot

Meet the $40B+ ‘software robot’ maker poised to automate pencil pushing

A company you’ve probably never heard of made IPO history this week.

UiPath, an automation company, made its market debut and notched the 3rd largest US software IPO in history, behind only Snowflake (No. 1) and Qualtrics (No. 2).

By market’s close on Wednesday, the company’s market cap had settled at a hefty $35.8B — which leaves only one question…

WTF is UiPath?

The company was founded in 2005 by Romanian entrepreneurs Daniel Dines and Marius Tîrcă.

Originally called DeskOver, UiPath was based in Romania but later rebranded and moved its HQ to the US in 2017. Today, about ¼ of its ~3k employees are still based in Romania.

UiPath helps enterprises automate tedious manual tasks done on computers, something they refer to as RPA or…

… Robotic Process Automation

They call their automations “software robots” that do robot-like work for humans — tasks like filling forms, moving files, inputting data, and scraping documents.

The real gem is that creating these software robots requires no coding, and they can interface with existing software using AI-fueled “computer vision” — think robots actually seeing what they click.

This all rolls up into a serious business:

  • $580m in annual recurring revenue (+65% YoY)
  • Margins up to 89% (the highest in software)
  • 7,968 customers (+32% YoY)

And according to UiPath, the market for robot automation is expected to reach $30B by 2024, up from $17B in 2020.

It could be a Hot Robot Summer…

…thanks to UiPath’s 145% dollar retention, meaning its customers are staying and increasing budgets by 45% into the next year —  a strategy insiders call “land and expand.”

But it’s not all robots and sunshine.

UiPath will have to weather a public market that’s souring for high-flying tech companies. In 2021, a cloud index of 58 cloud companies has dropped 7%; meanwhile, the Dow is up 10%.

Hot Dow Summer, anyone?

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SNIPPETS
  • Tax man: Stocks fell Thursday with reports that the Biden administration is considering a 39.6% capital gains tax — nearly 2x the existing rate —  for those earning $1m+ a year.
  • More, please: Ecommerce platform Shopify and social network Pinterest expanded their integrations to 27 new countries (outside of their existing North American tie-up). This is the latest move to marry social and commerce.
  • Snap is on a roll per its recent earnings. It reported its first positive free cash flow (AKA it doesn’t burn cash anymore). And quarterly sales were +66% YoY to $770m.
Barcode drink

Source: Forbes

Lakers star Kyle Kuzma and former NBA trainer Bar Malik launch Barcode, a ‘healthy Gatorade’ brand

When it comes to professional sports, even a 1% change in performance and recovery can have a huge impact.

That’s the mindset former New York Knicks trainer Bar Malik had when crafting Barcode, the sports drink he’s releasing with 6’10’’ Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma.

Barcode was built for pro athletes and everyday consumers

For years, Malik has brewed up antioxidant-, vitamin-, and electrolyte-rich beverages for athletes and celebrities.

Barcode has just 30 calories. To do that, Malik and Kuzma had to get serious about plants:

  • Plant and mushroom extracts, AKA adaptogens, come dissolved in the drink
  • Monk fruit acts as a natural sweetener

Barcode comes in watermelon and lemon-lime flavors taste-tested by pro athletes, and its minimalist bottles come with scannable QR codes for original content.

It’s not the first time NBA players have forayed into Startupland…

  • Carmelo Anthony has invested in Lyft and Casper
  • Steph Curry backed fitness startup Tonal
  • Harrison Barnes invested in Beyond Meat
  • Russell Westbrook recently led a $63m investment in a digital bank

But possibly the coolest NBA businessman is Kevin Durant, whose investments include Postmates, Acorns, Robinhood, Whoop, and Coinbase — back in 2017.

Oh yeah, and VC legend Andreessen Horowitz hosted a birthday party for Durant when he moved to California. Not too shabby.

Sports Biz
F1 car

How binging Netflix may save F1 racing

NASCAR’s cultured European cousin, Formula 1 (F1), has had a tough quarantine.

Last year, the sport’s revenue saw an $877m burnout, down to $1.1B in 2020 from $2B in 2019.

This year, things are starting to turn around. F1’s parent company Liberty Media recently announced the addition of a 2nd US Grand Prix race in — you love to hate it — Miami.

The announcement comes after renewed US interest in the sport, all thanks to Netflix.

When in trouble, make a documentary…

Because who doesn’t love adrenaline-soaked drama? (It worked for the NFL.)

The Netflix documentary series “Formula 1: Drive to Survive” follows race teams as they compete. The series gives fans access to traditionally guarded on- and off-track happenings — and after 3 seasons, it’s finding higher gears.

Last month, the series trended No. 1 worldwide after the release of its 3rd season. Per sports business newsletter Huddle Up, the attention has boosted F1’s footprint:

  • Social media engagements are up 99% YoY
  • 75% of audience growth came from the prized 16- to 35-year-old demographic
  • F1 is the fastest-growing sports league across YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and Chinese social media platforms, with subscriptions up 36% at 35m

Even Mercedes-Benz and Ferrari — the top 2 racing teams who stayed out of season 1 — agreed to give Netflix crews access to their teams.

Now F1 hopes to capitalize

A recent race in Bahrain attracted 880k US viewers — the highest since 1995, according to ESPN2.

And with the addition of team spending limits, F1 organizers hope to make the sport more competitive, and therefore more attractive to audiences.

In the meantime, “Why F1 is better in Miami” Twitter threads will fuel our nightmares.

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Podcast

How to build a fitness brand that makes $1B a year

In our latest episode of My First Million, we break down:

  • How Beachbody makes $1B a year (and $100m in profits) through P90X
  • How to clone Hacker News (and which industries it works in)
  • How Shaan teased a kid in college who went on to help create one of the most valuable startups ever (an amazing story)

Check out episode 173 below.

🎧 Listen below:

Stat of the day
how people spend their time on Netflix

Source: Bored Panda

Netflix projects to spend $17B on content in 2021. This is a sizable uptick from 2020, when the streaming service dropped $11.8B on content (a tick down from $13.9B in 2019 due to the pandemic).

To put that number into perspective, ExxonMobil’s projected 2021 capital expenditures (capex) are $16B to $19B.

We don’t actually know what Netflix is spending money on, though… we still can’t find anything to watch.

Shower Thoughts

  1. “People who get punished for lying are being punished for being bad liars.”
  2. “Your level is your age, your health bar is your lifestyle, your mana is your mental and spiritual health, and your talents and hobbies are your stats.”
  3. “Sunglasses are the irl version of dark mode.”
  4. “Erasers sacrifice themselves for our mistakes.”
  5. “The more you expand your vocabulary, the less other people will understand you.”
via Reddit
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