As the IPO market slowly comes back to life, it’s becoming easier to understand just how far off the mark some startup valuations were back in 2021. Instacart had an impossible $39 billion valuation during the heyday of startup investments, but the delivery company is now nibbling its way toward the $10 billion mark as it heads to the public markets.
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Normally, any startup going public with a price tag in excess of $9 billion would warrant ample celebrations on the part of its builders and backers. But with a peak valuation nearly four times higher around its neck, the narrative surrounding Instacart’s IPO is more mixed.
Not all valuation metrics from that era are so far off, though, provided the company in question has had a few years to grow into its prior price and is a stand-out performer in its niche.
Klaviyo appears to be one such company. The Boston-based email marketing firm looked a bit light from the non-diluted valuation perspective when it revealed its initial IPO price range yesterday, but if you calculate its fully-diluted valuation at the midpoint of its $25 to $27 per share price range, Klaviyo lands at a pretty strong $8 billion. That’s a bit above $27 per share, if you want to run the math yourself.
That’s pretty damn close to its $9.5 billion post-money valuation, which it earned back in May 2021 when it raised $320 million, per Crunchbase.
So if Klaviyo were to raise its price range before going public, or at least price a little above its initial pricing interval, we could very well see the company pull off an IPO that’s on par with its last private valuation.
If flat is the new up in the world of venture capital, going public with a price tag that’s in line with a bubble-era late-stage valuation is nothing less than a gobsmacking win. Investors funneled a mountain of capital into late-stage startups back in those golden days, expecting public-market multiples to remain hot. They did not, as we now know, and the resulting repricing has been brutal. Perhaps Klaviyo can show others a way out?
Let’s do a little math on the Klaviyo IPO price range and see we should expect the unicorn to get even closer to its final private price. Here’s hoping we’ll uncover a little bit of good news for startups everywhere.
A flat exit? In this economy!?
Here’s a quick look at Klaviyo’s financials. We have more notes here, but this is what you need to know for now: