Business Public Startups

Quick Notes On The Fiverr IPO Filing

Fiverr, a freelance marketplace from Israel, filed to go public today on the New York Stock Exchange.

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The firm, famous for quick-turnaround freelance gigs among other tasks, is an interesting IPO candidate. It was not on our radar as a firm to watch out for in this context. Indeed, what we recall most about it before its F-1 dropped was that its advertising has prompted head-scratching and derision, with various online denizens pointing out that it at times heaps praise on overwork, celebrating hustle over sleep.

Since its inception in 2010, Fiverr has raised a total of $111 million, according to its Crunchbase profile. Its most recent raise was a $60 million Series D that closed nearly four years ago and was led by Square Peg Capital and included participation from two large U.S.-based venture firms: Bessemer Venture Partners and Accel.

That in hand, let’s peek at the numbers. In we go!

The Numbers

Fiverr is not a SaaS company, so we are not looking at recurring revenue today. Instead, the company details in its F-1 that it drives revenue “primarily through transaction fees and service fees.” So what we are observing is a middle-player in the freelance space.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, merely that we are not looking at another Slack or Zoom, more a platform that connects wealthier humans with humans who have less.

The market for Fiverr’s business is reasonably large it seems, given the firm’s growth rates and revenue scale. In 2017, Fiverr recorded $52.1 million in revenue; in 2018 that figure rose to $75.5 million. Those figures are on the low end of the IPO scale, but are enough for Fiverr to wager on its own debut.

Over those two yearly periods, the firm lost $19.3 million in the first year and $36.1 million in the latter.

Turning the dial a bit closer to now, Fiverr put up $23.8 million in revenue during Q1 of 2019, up from $16.7 million in the year-ago first quarter (2018). That 43.8 percent growth was coupled with falling losses, notably. In the first quarter of 2018 Fiverr lost $16.3 million. In the first quarter of 2019, that figure fell to $8.3 million.

So, growth and some recent declines in losses, even though Fiverr certainly lost more money in 2018 than it did the year prior. On a cash basis, the firm is still consumptive instead of accretive. Fiverr’s operations consumed cash in calendar 2017, calendar 2018, and the first quarter of 2019. Notably, the firm’s operations generated cash in the first quarter of 2018. That short period of operating cash generation did not last, as we can see from the firm’s full-year 2018 results, and the latest 2019 figures.

With $34.6 million in cash on its balance sheet, Fiverr is going public almost a bit early, though it could use the infusion. So, here it is, ready to fundraise and get out there.

The Parade Stretches On

Fiverr is now part of the IPO countdown. Fastly and Luckin are set to trade starting tomorrow. This is the IPO push that we’ve long expected.

How many folks will be left standing with the clichéd music stops? Fiverr doesn’t want to be there to find out.

Additional reporting by Mary Ann Azevedo and Savannah Dowling. Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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