Weekly Update #171: Palantir eyes IPO, GIFs worth $600M, Postmates gets new money
A lot of interesting news from pre-IPO companies in the past week, so I've put together a short summary below.
Palantir is 'seriously' considering an IPO
In a serious about-face for the company, CEO Alex Karp said at a Wall Street Journal conference that they're "now positioning the company so we could go public". The article mostly focuses on a need for employees to get some form of liquidity, by means of going public, or doing "an offering, something on the private equity side, or...use all of our profits or as many as we can in consultation with investors to redistribute them to employees." In other Palantir news, the company won a second chance at a lucrative Army contract that could potentially be "worth hundreds of millions of dollars."
GIFs are worth a lot
New York-based Giphy is now worth $600 million, having raised $72 million from Draper Fisher Jurvetson and others. The company, which catalogs animated GIFs for easier searchability, still does not generate revenue, but I guess investors were unfazed since it delivers 1 billion GIFs a day.
Postmates FINALLY raised money
Postmates, a food-delivery startup on pace to deliver $1 billion worth of food on an annualized basis, secured $141 million at the same valuation as its previous round. I use such strong emphasis on the round because Postmates has been rumored to have been raising money since CEO Bastian Lehmann said that, well, he'd be raising money in November of last year. Then in April, Bloomberg reported the company was raising $100-$150 million. But alas, no moolah. Then again, this September, Business Insider hinted at a $100 million raise. So when you hear VCs say that "money is drying up", look to Postmates as a good example for what startup CEOs are facing.
No, it's not clickbait. It's just a good primer from our friend Lior Ronen at research-firm Finro. Without further ado:
- Quarterly earnings vs Analyst estimates
- Year-over-year performance (revenue and earnings growth)
- Profitability (the magical "P" word)
- Guidance (what does the company expect for the next 3 months? 6 months? 9 months?)
- Free Cash Flow (is the company a cash-generator or a cash-incinerator?)
Of course there are plenty other metrics to keep an eye out for (and you won't be able to find these metrics in private companies), but this should be a start. And if you'd like to know what to look for in pre-IPO companies when investing, check out EquityZen's Guide to Investing in Pre-IPO Tech Companies.