Weekly Update #196: What Unicorns Do With Their Unicorn Money
What do unicorns do with their unicorn dollars?
We often emphasize valuation when pre-IPO tech companies reach that elusive $1 billion mark. But what about the funds raised? Where does it go? With Quora's recent announcement, we took a look at three recent companies, and grabbed snippets from the press releases to see the intended use of proceeds.
- What they do: crowd-source answers to questions
- Unicorn round: raised $85 million in April 2017 at a $1.8 billion valuation
- Use of proceeds: '“The main thing we’re going to put money into is internationalization,” says D’Angelo. Eventually, “we’d like to let users translate content back and forth, but we haven’t built that yet.” Instead, D’Angelo says Quora has been spawning dedicated wings of its app for different languages. Quora launched in Spanish last year to collect questions and answers natively written in that tongue. It’s in beta for French, while German and Italian are coming in a few months. “We want to get to all the languages over the next year or two,” D’Angelo tells me.'
- What they do: end-to-end design and construction platform
- Unicorn round: raised $130 million in April 2017 at a $1 billion valuation
- Use of proceeds: 'Katerra is focused initially on multi-family housing in the U.S., but plans to operate in the future in every sector of the construction industry. In the two years since it was founded the company said it has put together a global team of more than 550 people and recruited talent from tech giants that include Apple, Google, Hewlett Packard, Nokia and SanDisk.'
- What they do: online training for serious software developers
- Unicorn round: raised $30 million in December 2016 at a $1 billion valuation
- Use of proceeds: 'The new capital will allow the company to pay off some debt from acquisitions while maintaining a healthy amount of cash on its balance sheet as it hires more enterprise salespeople, Skonnard said. Annual revenue is $100 million to $200 million, and the company is driving toward an initial public offering, he said.'
In other news...
Why the decline in the number of listed American firms matters (The Economist)
Once-Flush Startups Struggle to Stay Alive as Investors Get Pickier (WSJ.com; subscription required)
- I’m Sorry, But Those Are Vanity Metrics (First Round Review)