UPDATE 2-UiPath boosts IPO price range, aims for $28 bln valuation

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April 19 (Reuters) - Automation tech startup UiPath on Monday boosted the price range for its initial public offering (IPO) in New York, and is now targeting a valuation of nearly $28 billion, setting the stage for yet another high-profile tech listing this year.

UiPath’s planned debut comes amid a flurry of major tech listings from the Silicon Valley, as a number of startups look to capitalize on the sky-high investor demand for new, high-growth tech stocks.

A number of richly-valued startups such as cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Global and South Korean e-commerce startup Coupang have already tapped into the red-hot capital markets this year, while other big unicorns such as electric vehicle startup Rivian and Microsoft-backed DataBricks are set to go public later this year.

Companies have already raised nearly $150 billion through public listings this year, according to data from Dealogic.

The overall IPO fundraising is poised to comfortably eclipse last year’s all-time record of nearly $168 billion, according to investment bankers.

UiPath said it would now aim to raise around $1.3 billion, selling 23.9 million shares along with a group of stockholders, priced between $52 and $54 each. The company had earlier planned to raise about $1.06 billion.

The software maker is looking to receive up to $508 million from the IPO, excluding proceeds from shares offered by the selling stockholders.

The company, which counts the likes of Accel, Dragoneer and Coatue Management among its prominent backers, uses artificial intelligence and low-code tools to help large corporations and government agencies automate repetitive and routine tasks in areas such as accounting and human resources.

UiPath was founded in 2015 as a team of 10 people based in Bucharest, Romania, by former Microsoft executive Daniel Dines and Marius Tirca.

The tech startup has seen demand for its robotic process automation services soar, as more companies shifted to remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It will list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “PATH”. Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan are the lead underwriters for the IPO. (Reporting by Sohini Podder and Niket Nishant in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)