(Bloomberg) — UiPath, a software maker valued last year at $7 billion, is getting closer to an initial public offering after helping some of the biggest companies in the U.S. automate routine processes.Armed with last year’s $568 million funding round that gave the New York-based company its multi-billion dollar valuation, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Daniel Dines sees more growth on the cards. The bourse entry may take place as soon as early next year, depending on market conditions and strategic decisions.“We just started our growth journey in 2016 and if you look at the average age of a company to do an IPO it’s probably 7 years, so there’s” no reason to hurry, Dines said in an interview from New York. “You have to become a public company at some point to allow your employees to get more liquidity, give them stock options. We’re almost there.”Founded in Romania in 2005 as DeskOver and renamed in 2015, UiPath’s client base includes the CIA, the U.S. Navy, McDonald’s Corp, Duracell and Swiss Re. The company had $360 million in annual recurring revenue last year and it attracted funding from investors such as Sequoia, CapitalG, Wellington Management, Sands Capital and others.“Even though UiPath technically can do an IPO, I think they don’t have to do that. They already got a huge amount — $1 billion — in venture funding and don’t have to get their hands tied up in the capital market. The only RPA company that went IPO is Blue Prism.”\–Kathy Gao, a BloombergNEF analyst focused on the digital industryUiPath’s software performs low-skilled and repetitive tasks once outsourced to humans in cheaper-wage countries, via “robotic process automation,” or RPA. Examples include the processing of applications for jobs, pensions or handling student data at universities.Virus BacklogUiPath, which became Romania’s first unicorn in 2018, competes with other software vendors such as Blue Prism Group Plc, Kofax, and Automation Anywhere Inc. Dines, who ruled out acquisitions in the near future, didn’t give financial details on UiPath’s potential IPO.“We’ve seen increased competition, even Microsoft said they will come with an RPA solution,” Dines said. “This is a great validation for the industry.”One key area to watch is the use of UiPath to help hospitals fighting the coronavirus to avoid backlogs and speed up diagnosis, according to Dines.“RPA has become a really big and established sector and many companies have plans to implement it,” he said.(Corrects to remove characterization of Blue Prism’s share sale process in analyst comment)To contact the reporters on this story: Andra Timu in Bucharest at firstname.lastname@example.org;Irina Vilcu in Bucharest at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Andrea Dudik at firstname.lastname@example.org, Andras Gergely, Piotr BujnickiFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.