Morning Report: Qualtrics proves that you can build unicorns in more places than just the Bay Area.
This is Qualtrics’ third round of funding, following its $70 million Series A and its $150 million Series B. Normally at this juncture I would complain about the size of the rounds, and how they do not fit into traditional Series size buckets. But we can relax our standards for the day.
And we relax for two reasons:
- Qualtrics is a good example of a company in tech creating quite a lot of value outside of the Silicon Valley milieu. This matters for smaller ecosystems as a proof point that you don’t have to move here to matter.
- The company is being upfront about eventually going public.
I’ve interviewed Qualtrics before (I’ve lost weight since the above picture, I promise), and found them to quite forthright. That makes the following quote from the previously-linked TechCrunch story all the more fun:
And Smith has said he plans on going public. It looks like he’s feverishly working towards that goal. Five months ago the startup hired Microsoft veteran Zig Serafin as its COO and just added Atlassian’s CFO Murray Demo, who helped guide that company through its initial $4.4 billion public offering, to the board. Companies often pull in key leadership just before going public and Qualtrics founder Ryan Smith told TechCrunch in a recent interview he was “getting his house in order” in preparation for an IPO event.
Isn’t that nice?
What will be notable to watch over the coming months is how quickly Qualtrics moves towards and offering. The company claims to be profitable, implying that it won’t run short of cash in the near-term. That bars an IPO of necessity during the current window, I’d wager. But that doesn’t mean that Qualtrics couldn’t pull the trigger regardless.
A profitable tech IPO? And you thought those were banned.
From the Crunchbase Daily
Startup investment picks up in Q1
- Funding for U.S. startups ticked up in the first quarter of this year, with investment holding up at historically high levels across all stages, according to a preliminary analysis of Crunchbase data. However, funding totals are still below the highs set several quarters ago, a Crunchbase News analysis found.
Lyft raises $600M at $7.5B valuation
- Lyft announced that it has closed on $600 million in new capital at a $7.5 billion post-money valuation. Backers include existing stakeholders Rakuten and Janus Capital along with new investors AllianceBernstein, Baillie Gifford, KKR, and Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board.
Qualtrics secures $180M for business analytics
- Business analytics provider Qualtrics has raised $180 million in a new funding round led by Insight Venture Partners and Accel, with participation from Sequoia Capital. The new round values the 15-year-old, Provo, Utah-based company at $2.5 billion, up from around $1 billion in late 2014.