Slack and Affirm among the biggest valuation jumps in April

Steven Loeb · May 4, 2016 · Short URL:

While funding and valuations have slowed, there are still plenty of companies seeing big gains

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While it's now harder for companies to raise money, and the number of unicorns has fallen dramatically, that doesn't mean that the bubble has deflated completely. There are still going to be companies that are going to raise large rounds, with big valuations.

Pitchbook took a look at the companies that saw the biggest valuation jumps, by both multiple and by dollars, in April. Things may be tightening, but they are by no means slowing down completely.

The company that saw the biggest jump by multiple was Vemo Education, a provider of  student-financing solutions for colleges and universities, which raised a $2.5 million round. It's valuation went up 7.13x, from $1.4 million to $10 million.

The second largest jump was online interior design service Laurel & Wolf. The company raised a $20 million round, to see its valuation jump 5.96x, from $17.09 million all the way to $101.92. Those were the only two companies to see a multiple of over 5x.

Others that made the list included human genome company Human Longevity, AI and machine learning company Sparkcognition, and RigUp, a bidding, compliance, and invoicing platform, all of which saw a multiple over 4x.

On average, the top 10 companies saw their valuations increase by 4.35x.

Interestingly, only one of the companies that saw the biggest multiples also saw the largest increases in post-money valuation by dollar: Human Longevity, with its valuation increasing by $1.54 billion to $1.89 billion.

After that comes Slack, which raised a $200 million round to get valued at $3.8 billion, an increase of $900 million over its previous $2.9 billion valuation.

After that it falls over quite a bit, with Onshape, a collaborative 3D design company, raising $105 million to bump its valuation up $441.37 million, to $800.91 million, and Proteus Digital Health,  a developer of digital products to collect and aggregate health metrics, raised $50 million, bringing its valuation up $327.21 million to $1.53 billion, turning it into a unicorn.

On average, the top 10 biggest gainers saw their valuations increase by $398.7 million. 

Hard out there for a unicorn

Late stage investors, most notably Fidelity, started to write down some of their unicorn companies at the end of last year. Not surprisingly, the number of new unicorns dropped as well. 

In all, there were 11 new global companies that reached a valuation of at least $1 billion in the first quarter of 2016. While that number is actually up over 22 percent from the nine companies from around the world that made in the fourth quarter of 2015, it is still down significantly from the 23 companies that made it in both Q2 and Q3 of last year. 

Even with that low Q4 number, 2015 was a big year for unicorns overall, as there were 47 new ones in the U.S. alone, for a 38 percent increase over 2014. There were also 28 new unicorns outside of the U.S., a 100 percent increase over the 14 from the year before, for a total of 78. That equaled 1.5 new unicorns every single week for the year.

This year, though, it is very likely that the number will fall dramatically, mostly thanks to investors panicking over ballooning valuations, leading them to devalue some of their biggest investments.

Some of the new unicorns included Mindmaze, a Swedish multisensory computing platform; Mercari, a Japanese startup behind a consumer-to-consumer marketplace app of the same name;, an e-commerce store in the Arab world; and Anaplan, a cloud company selling software to streamline corporate budgeting.

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laurel and wolf


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Proteus Digital Health


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Proteus Digital Health develops digital medicines that collect and aggregate various behavioral, physiological and therapeutic metrics.