Morning Report: The current market for “Cloud Companies” may be the best it has ever been, and that makes today a perfect moment to remember how quickly that can change.
It’s hard to believe, but at this time last year, US exchanges had seen a single technology IPO. The markets were recovering from a bad tumble that had slammed the IPO window shut and reshaped private investor sentiment from obstreperously enthused to dourly disconsolate.
All that is easily seen in the historical record of the Bessemer Venture Partners Cloud Index. The Index tracks 42 publicly traded cloud stocks, from Box to Castlight Health, from MobileIron to Qualys, and all the way back to RingCentral.
Aside from doing god’s own work by calculating each companies’ core metrics—enterprise value, market cap, gross margin, gross retention, proper ratios, and delights like “EV / 2017 FCF” and “FCF Margin 2017,” which are love notes of a sort—the index graphs out aggregate group performance compared to the key indices we all know and enjoy.
Let’s observe the Index’s chart under two contexts:
- First, that it a nudge under an all time high.
- If you scroll your eyes back to 2016’s opening months, it was actually worse than you probably remember for cloud companies. That’s saying something.
As you can see, 2016’s opening days were reminiscent of the Pitchfork reception to Metallica’s Lulu. And things have since dramatically improved to new records.
All this goes to underscore how good things are now. If you can’t go public today, what the hell were you doing before?
From the Crunchbase Daily:
Uber faces criminal probe over software
- Uber is facing a criminal probe by the U.S. Department of Justice over its Greyball software tool, which allowed drivers to evade law enforcement agencies that were cracking down on its service, Reuters reports. The investigation is reportedly still at an early stage.
VCs pour $50M into Soylent
- Soylent, the nutritional beverage marketed to people with no time for meals, has raised $50 million in a fresh funding round led by Google’s GV. The financing follows widely publicized mishaps for the four-year-old company. Last year it drew flack for selling products that made customers ill, and last week it issued a voluntary recall for powder mixes.
Signifyd secures $56M for fraud protection
- Signifyd, a provider of fraud detection technology used in ecommerce, has raised $56 million in a Series C financing led by Bain Capital Ventures, with participation from Menlo Ventures, American Express Ventures and others. The San Jose-based company, founded in 2011, has raised $87 million to date.
Baby tech draws backers
- Startup founders and backers are putting significant resources into the tech-intensive art of watching, feeding, entertaining, and transporting tiny humans. More than $260 million in seed and VC funding has gone into baby and toddler-focused business in the past two years, according to a Crunchbase News analysis. Favored plays include smart gadgets, like sensor-enabled socks and changing tables, as well as healthy baby food alternatives.