The $1B valuation club became super crowded in 2014

All told, 38 companies joined, including JustFab, Tango, Snapdeal, Delivery Hero, Docusign and Houzz

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
January 14, 2015
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There's something about number: $1 billion. When a company reaches that height something changes; obviously the company was already successful, and had been for a while, but it becomes impossible to ignore when that threshold is crossed.

Plus, it automatically get added to the "potential upcoming IPO" lists.

As more money is being pumped into venture capital, though, valuations are quickly inflating. As Founder's Fund managing partner Peter Thiel said at Vator's Post Seed Conference last month, his investment in Facebook was at a $5 million valuation, but today that same investment would be in a company that was worth at least $50 million, if not $100 million.

"If you look at Y Combinator, in 05 or 06 you could invest in companies end up being Y Combinator at valuations of $1.5 million to $2 million. Fast forward eight or nine years, it's close to 8 to 10x of what it was eight years ago," he said.

With valuations jumping so high, the $1 billion club is getting easier and easier to get into. In 2014 alone, 38 different companies entered the $1 billion club, according to a report from CB Insights. That is more than the three previous years, when only 22 companies made it combined.

Here are some of the companies that crossed that threshold in 2014:

  • AppDynamics

The application performance management company raised $120 million in a round led by new investors Battery Ventures, ClearBridge Investments and Sands Capital in July. Existing investors Greylock Partners,Lightspeed Venture Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Instiutional Venture Partners also participated. The round also included $50 million in debt financing, which was provided by Silicon Valley Bank.

AppDynamics has raised $157 million in total, and it took the company six and half years to get to $1 billion.

  • AppNexus 

The adtech company raised $60 million from an unknown investor in August. It had previously raised around $140 million in venture capital, most recently taking in $75 million in January of 2013. Previous investors in the company include Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV) Venrock, Tribeca Venture Partners, Kodiak Venture Partners and First Round Capital. In all it raised $225 million.

It took AppNexus seven years to get there.

  • Credit Karma

Personal finance platform Credit Karma raised $75 million in September, from existing investors Google Capital, Tiger Global Management and Susquehanna Growth Equity.

The company had previously raised $118.5 million in funding, including an $85 million round in March of last year, giving it a total of $194 million.

It took five years to bet to the $1 billion valuation.

  • Delivery Hero

The company's $350 million round in September put it over the top. The round was led by existing investors, including Insight Venture Partners, Kite Ventures and a new investor, Vostok Nafta.

The food delivery network raised a total of $523 million last year in three rounds. First it raised $88 million from Insight Venture Partners in January, followed by another $85 million in a Series F round that was led by Luxor Capital Group in April.

In all, it raised $657 in funding over a four-year period.

  • DocuSign 

E-signature company DocuSign raised an $85 million round  in March and a $30 million round in October.

The company had previously raised $125 million in four rounds of funding from investors that included the National Association of Realtors, Google Ventures, Scale Venture Partners, SAP Ventures, Salesforce, Comcast, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Accel Partners, giving it more than $230 million in total to date.

It took DocuSign 10 years to reach the $1 billion threshold. 

  • Eventbrite

The online ticketing service took a $60 million round from Tiger Global Management and T. Rowe Price, in March. Previous investors included Sequoia Capital, DAG Ventures and SoftTech VC.

The round gave it a total of $168 million raised, the company reached  $1 billion after 6 years of fundraising. 

(Note: Eventbrite founders Kevin Hartz and Julia Hartz were keynote speakers at Vator Splash London in 2014. You can watch their presentation here)

  • Hootsuite

Social media management company Hootsuite raised $60 million from Accel PartnersInsight Venture Partners and OMERS Ventures, as well as technology lender Silicon Valley Bank in September.

The company had $190 million in funding, previously raising $165 million in August of 2013. Previous investors included Fidelity Investments, Hearst Ventures, Blumberg Capital, Millennium Technology Value Partners and Geoff Entress.

Hootsuite’s total funding to date is $227 million. It took the company five years to reach $1 billion.

  • Houzz 

The home decor site raised $150 million at a $2B+ valuation in June,.

The company previously raised $46.6 million from Sequoia Capital, NEA, Yammer founder David Sacks, GGV Capital, Comcast Ventures, Paul Hsiao and more.

In all, it took Houzz four years to get there.

  • JustFab

The subscription e-commerce company raised $85 million in August, in a round led by Passport Special Opportunity Fund, with participation from existing investors such as Matrix Partners and Shining Capital.

The company had previously raised $164 million altogether, including a $40 million Series C round in September 2013, as well as a $15 million follow-on in December. Other previous investors in the company include Rho Ventures and Intelligent Beauty.

JustFab's total funding is $300 million, and it got that over three years.

(Note: JustFab CEO Adam Goldenberg will be speaking at Vator Splash Oakland On April 23rd. Get your tickets here.) 

  • Kabam

The mobile gaming raised $120 million from Chinese Internet giant Alibaba in August.

In all it has raised $245 million from investors that have included Redpoint Ventures, Intel Capital, Canaan Partners, Google Ventures, Pinnacle Ventures, Performance Equity and SK Telecom Ventures.

That money was raised over a period of seven years.

  • Slack

The workplace collaboration company raised a $120 million round led by new investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Google Ventures, along with previous backers, in October.

This new funding came just six months after the company raised $42.75 million. Slack has now raised a total of $180 million from investors that include The Social + Capital Partnership, Accel Partners and Andreessen Horowitz.

The company took four and half years to reach $1 billion.

  • Snapdeal

Indian e-commerce company raised at least $860 million in four rounds in 2014. 

The first investment in the company was in a round led by eBay in February, in which it invested $133.7 million. The round also included Kalaari Capital, Nexus Venture Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, Intel Capital and Saama Capital. That was then followed by another $100 million from Temasek, BlackRock, Myriad, Premji Invest and Tybourne in May, and then an undisclosed personal investmentfrom Ratan Tata in August.

The company has raised over $1 billion in funding, and it took only three and half years to reach a $1 billion valuation.

  • Tango

The mobile video chat app raised $280 million in May. Of that investment, $215 million came from Alibaba, with the other $65 million from previous investors.

Tango has previously raised $85 million in total, including $42 million in July 2011 and then another $40 million in a Series C funding in April 2012. Investors in the company include Access Industries, DFJ, Qualcomm Ventures, Toms Capital and Translink Capital, as well as Bill Tai, Shimon Weintraub, Jerry Yang, Alex Zubillaga and others.

It took only three and half years for Tango to raise $365 million at a $1 billion valuation.

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