Startup Growth Stages

There's no typical series of Start Up growth stages.

But want to get a sense of step-function by looking at some examples.

Artificial Game Rule-s I'm focusing on here:

The Startup Growth Stages are roughly:

Some examples (ideally companies that have gone public in last 5yrs), listed alphabetically

(Disclaimer - some of the ratios below don't check out very well, but since I'm just getting overall sense of scale, I'm not losing sleep over it.)

Note: after assembling the below profiles found:

  • this piece on the dearth of small-company IPO-s. The median annual sales of tech company IPOs last year was $106 million, as compared with an inflation-adjusted $25 million in 1996... In 2013, only 43 tech stock IPOs occurred, whereas venture capitalists sold 376 of their portfolio companies in trade sales (M And A).
    • These days, most institutional investors will hardly consider a company with less than $100 million in revenue and a valuation of at least $500 million.
  • this good summary of Enterprise SaaS companies. If you just spend 9.5 years raising $110 million dollars across five rounds of funding, and hire 530 employees, including a sales and marketing team of 160 people, while building a world-class product that can win in the hyper-competitive enterprise software business, to reach $70 million in annual revenue, you can create a high margin business with predictability. Sure you don’t want to build a dating app?

Atlassian

  • 2002 founded
  • 2010 $60M
  • 2014 $150M
  • 2014 1148 employees; rev $150M (2013), valued $3.3B (still private)
  • Dec'2015 IPO market cap $4.37B
  • 2016 1760 empl; rev $457M

Everyday Health

  • 2002 founded
  • 2003 $1.7M Series A
  • 2003 $4.5M Series B
  • by 2011 total $84.7M funding
  • Mar'2014 IPO (12yrs after founding); value $454M (=2.83x rev), rev $160M; 520 empl

GrubHub

  • 2004 founded
  • 2007 $1.1M Series A
  • 2009-13 total $83M
  • Apr'2014 IPO (10yrs after founding); value=$2.6B = 19x rev; $170M rev; 680 employees

HubSpot

  • 2006 founded
  • 2006 Seed Capital $500K
  • 2007 Series A $5M
  • 2008-2012 total $95M
  • 2014 IPO (8yrs after founding); value=$700M = 9x rev; rev=$77M; 700 empl

Kayak

  • 2004 founded
  • 2004 Series A $8.5M
  • 2004-2012 total $225M
  • 2012 IPO (8yrs after founding), value=3x rev, rev=$224M, profit $9M; 185 empl

LinkedIn

  • 2003 founded
  • 2003 Series A $4.7M
  • 2004-2008 total $120M raised
  • 2011 IPO (8yrs after founded); value=13x rev, rev=$243M; 1288 employees

Marketo

  • 2006 founded
  • 2006 Series A $5.4M
  • 2008-2011 total $100M
  • 2013 IPO (7yrs after founding); value=$1.4B = 13x rev; rev=$95M; 373 empl

Textura

  • 2004 founded
  • Feb'2013 $6.8M in debt financing
  • Jun'2013 IPO (9yrs after founding) - value=21x sales, prev year sales $21M, loss $18M; 287 employees

Trulia

  • 2004 founded
  • 2005 Series A $2.1M
  • 2005-2008 add'l funding $31M
  • 2012 IPO, value=6.4x rev, rev=$77M, net loss $6M; 250 employees

WorkDay

  • 2005 founded
  • 2005 raised $15M
  • 2009-2011 total $160M
  • 2012 IPO (7yrs after founding); value=39x rev, rev=$250M; 1400 empl

ZenDesk

  • 2007 founded
  • 2008 Seed Capital $500k
  • Mar'2009 Series A undisclosed
  • Aug'2009 Series B $6M
  • total $85.5M
  • May'2014 IPO (7yrs after found), value=$632M = 8.7x rev; rev $72M, loss $22.6M; 500 employees

Some still-private companies

Asana

BaseCamp/Thirty7 Signals (maybe a Life Style Company doesn't belong on this list, but still interesting to ponder) (and the numbers are much sketchier)

EverNote

GitHub

  • 2008 founded
  • 2012 $100M Series A! (valued $750M)
  • 2013 192 employees>
  • 2015 255 employees

WattPad

Some IPO bits

For 2014: 55 companies in the technology sector went public, Renaissance said, raising a total of $32 billion. That compares with 45 tech companies that went public in 2013, raising $8 billion.

But as anybody who paid even the slightest attention to the IPO market knows, the big event in tech IPOs was Alibaba’s offering, the largest US IPO ever. The Chinese e-commerce giant listed in September, raising $22 billion, or more than two thirds the total amount raised by all companies within the sector. Factor out Alibaba, and you have 54 tech companies going public, raising just $10.5 billion dollars.


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