Mar
03
2021
--

Clari revenue forecasting platform snags $150M investment and triples valuation to $1.6B

Clari, the revenue operations platform that helps companies predict revenue outcomes, announced $150 million Series E today on a $1.6 billion valuation, a number that more than triples its 2019 Series D valuation of $500 million.

Silver Lake led the latest investment with participation from B Capital Group and existing investors Sequoia Capital, Bain Capital Ventures, Sapphire Ventures, Madrona Ventures, Thomvest and Tenaya Capital. The company reports it has now raised a total of $285 million.

While COVID made 2020 trying for everyone, a company with a product that allows executive teams to understand and predict revenue at a granular level was obviously going to be in demand, and Clari saw a lot of interest over the last year.

“It was a surreal year for us, given the momentum we had and all of the tough news we saw going on around us. For us, the usage metrics were just off the charts, as people need visibility and predictability and control over their revenue forecasts,” company co-founder and CEO Andy Byrne told me.

While Byrne didn’t want to discuss revenue specifics, he did point out that he beat the revenue plan he submitted to his board by 110%. He said the performance has led to a lot of inbound investor interest in the company.

“That’s why we’ve had such great investor interest is that [VCs] were hearing in the investment community about how transformative Clari has been […] just giving companies what we call revenue confidence, being able to go and understand where you’re going to be and to accurately predict the impact the pandemic is going to have on your trajectory, good or bad,” Byrne explained.

To this point, the company has been working with sales and marketing teams, but Byrne says that the company is expanding the scope of the product to bring that same predictability to other parts of an organization.

Clari has mostly focused on technology companies with customers like HPE, Workday and Adobe, but it has plans to expand beyond that vertical. In fact, one of the ways Byrne plans to put today’s investment to work is to push into other verticals, which could also benefit from this kind of revenue visibility.

The company is up 300 employees with plans to double that number by the end of 2021. Byrne says he is building a positive work culture and points to recently being recognized as one of the best places to work by Inc., Bay Area News Group, #GirlsClub and Built In. He says they have made progress when it comes to diversity hirings across a number dimensions, but admits there is still work to be done.

“We actually specifically [established] a commission around diversity and inclusion that has board level [backing] that we’re running to continue to do better work there. Having said that, we still recognize that we’re not too dissimilar to a lot of companies where we feel like there’s so much more that we need to do,” he said.

At this point in the company’s evolution with plenty of money in the bank and a healthy valuation, Byrne did not shy away from the IPO question, although as you would imagine, he wasn’t ready to discuss specifics.

“I would say the answer is unequivocally yes, and we’re building toward this. […] We don’t have a timeframe upon which we know where we’re going to go public, but the next goal is to get to the IPO starting line,” he said.

Jan
28
2021
--

After soaring above $23B, Qualtrics’ founder and CEO reflect on a stellar debut

Amidst all of the the sturm und drang of l’affaire GameStop, Qualtrics went public today.

After pricing its stock above its raised IPO range, the company received a warm welcome from public investors. After starting its trading life worth $41.85, Qualtrics closed the day worth $45.50, up some 51.67%.

Qualtrics did everything that it said it was going to.

The software company’s debut comes after a lengthy path to the public markets; Qualtrics sold to SAP on the eve of its first run at a public listing back in 2018. Now, SAP has completed spinning the company out, though the software giant remains the Utah unicorn’s largest shareholder.

That Qualtrics’ IPO might perform well was presaged in its pricing run, having prices far above its initial valuation estimates; there was evidence of strong demand even before its shares started to trade.

But did Qualtrics misprice, given its strong first-day performance? TechCrunch spoke with Qualtrics CEO Zig Serafin, and its founder and current executive chairman Ryan Smith about its public offering, hoping to learn a bit about what is next for the company.

Pricing, plans

Having spoken to myriad folks on IPO days, I’ve learned the best way to kick off is to ask about emotions. Most CEOs and other execs are tied up in what they can (and cannot) say. And they are well-trained by communications experts regarding what to repeat and emphasize. You can sometimes loosen them up a little, however, by asking them how they feel.

In response to that question, Serafin described a feeling of gratitude and Smith brought up the long game. Qualtrics, he said, had been told that it couldn’t bootstrap, that it couldn’t build in Utah, that SAP had overpaid, that SAP had messed up and so forth.

Mar
28
2018
--

Silver Lake is buying a $500M stake in Credit Karma in a massive secondary round

Credit Karma, which once started as a simple credit report system and is now looking to expand into a true financial assistant, announced today it is getting a massive $500 million secondary investment from Silver Lake.

As part of the investment, Credit Karma says it is getting a 23% bump in the valuation from its last secondary round, which was around $3.25 billion. That means the company is now going to be worth roughly $4 billion altogether, while founder and CEO Kenneth Lin will remain the company’s largest shareholder. That, in the end, is likely important for investors and early employees even as they look to get some liquidity as many look to these founders to ensure that they intend to see the company all the way to the end. Silver Lake’s Mike Bingle is joining the company’s board of directors as part of this deal.

As companies stay private longer, those early employees that spend years at a startup before it hits that huge exit may have to wait longer for some kind of payout for their work. Investors, too, face the same dilemma, especially as the early bets are often just taken on a founder and an idea. And compensation packages early on also typically include equity as a significant portion as companies try to use the financing they raise for growth or other purposes. That makes these kinds of secondary rounds important as it shortens the window for at least some liquidation, which could help employees and investors be a little more patient.

Silver Lake is buying common stock in the company, which is now more than a decade old. But it does mean, with some kind of liquidation for shareholders, that it can likely hold off on an IPO for a little longer. It’s still building out it’s cachet as a financial advisory tool, so it may be that they sought to stay private and not be beholden to the quarterly pressures of a public company while they continue to build out that suite of tools.

Credit Karma is increasingly trying to build a suite of tools that will help it expand just beyond a simple credit score notifier. Late last year, Credit Karma rolled out a tool to be the hub for handling everything related to your cars. All of this sums up to its goal to be a financial assistant, and not just a credit report.

Jan
04
2018
--

WP Engine, a managed WordPress platform, raises $250M from Silver Lake

 While apps continue to grow in popularity as a primary route for people to interface with the digital world, there remains a very significant role for the web, and today, a startup that helps businesses build and run websites, specifically on WordPress, has raised a very large round of money. WP Engine, which claims to be one of the world’s largest WordPress hosts, has raised $250 million… Read More

Powered by WordPress | Theme: Aeros 2.0 by TheBuckmaker.com