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These Startups Saw Their Valuations Hiked — And Spiked — In 2023

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Venture-backed companies are in the midst of a significant valuation reset that began in 2022 and deepened in 2023. The entire ecosystem — from seed to late-stage venture —has been impacted, leading to flat rounds, down rounds, delayed rounds, layoffs and closures.

Here, we look back at some of the most high-profile companies with disclosed values in 2023  that raised at significant markups, as well as those that saw their valuations slashed.

AI clamor

Without AI there would not have been much to trumpet in the venture ecosystem in 2023.

The prize for the largest hike in value for a private unicorn company in 2023 goes to OpenAI. Microsoft committed $10 billion to San Francisco-based OpenAI at a $29 billion valuation in January. That boosted OpenAI’s value by 2,800% from its previously known value of $1 billion more than three years ago, in a deal led also by Microsoft.

And one of the highest-valued companies with an up round was Databricks, which notched a $43.2 billion valuation in its September Series I funding, up $5 billion, or 14%, from its 2021 funding at $38 billion.

Not surprisingly, the broader AI sector racked up a significant number of companies with increased values in a very short period of time in 2023.

France-based open-source foundation model developer Mistral AI raised a Series A funding of around $414 million at a $2 billion value, up 672% from a seed round announced only six months earlier which had the company valued at $300 million.

Also among the AI startups that raised funding at more than 100% valuation growth from prior rounds within or close to a year are: Inflection AI , CoreWeave, Anthropic, Runway and AI21 Labs.

Vast Data, Quantexa, Hugging Face and Helsing all raised funding at or more than a 100% valuation uptick but over a longer time frame — since 2021.

While AI was prolific, it was not the only sector with increased values.

India mobile payments company PhonePe, cybersecurity companies Wiz and Nord Security, drone providers Zipline and Skydio, German solar provider Enpal, commercial space station company Axiom Space, and car lending marketplace Lendbuzz all raised up-rounds over the billion-dollar mark.

Falling values

Down rounds in 2023 were not isolated to troubled companies. In fact, valuation resets were visited upon some companies widely considered to be the most likely to have IPO plans for the next few years.

The most high-profile valuation decline of 2023 came with Stripe’s $6.5 billion funding to support employees facing stock option fees. The deal was at a $50 billion valuation, down 47% from Stripe’s 2021 value of $95 billion. The South San Francisco-based company is continually cited as a likely IPO candidate in the next few years as it held off going public in the past few years after filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission in July 2021.

Shein, the fast-fashion e-commerce company from China, reportedly privately filed to go public in November. The company raised a down round in 2023, shaving its valuation to $66 billion, down 34% from its previous valuation of $100 billion.

Others that raised at significant discounts in 2023 include the following companies with known values in more than one funding round:

  • Agtech company Indigo was valued down 94%, from $3.5 billion to $200 million;
  • Cybersecurity company Cybereason was valued down almost 90% from $3.2 billion to $400 million;
  • Fitness platform Tonal’s valuation fell 64% from $1.6 billion to $600 million;
  • Fast grocery delivery service Flink Food’s valuation fell 62% from $2.9 billion to $1.1 billion;
  • raised at a 50% discount, its valuation falling from $14 billion to $7 billion;
  • Local delivery service Jokr raised at a 38% discount, going from $1.3 billion down to $800 million; and
  • Finance automation platform Ramp raised at a 28% discount, from $8.1 billion to $5.8 billion.

‘Bunker outlook’

One of the high-profile down rounds since the correction in private values was by Sweden-based Klarna.

The down round in mid-2022 — early in the downturn — marked a steep valuation cut. The buy now, pay later payments provider shaved 85% off its value in an $800 million funding round to support its U.S. expansion, dropping from $31 billion down to $6.7 billion.

Michael Moritz of Sequoia Capital, an early investor in Klarna, called out investors in the down round announcement.

“The shift in Klarna’s valuation is entirely due to investors suddenly voting in the opposite manner to the way they voted for the past few years,” he said, noting business fundamentals are better than they have ever been. “Eventually, after investors emerge from their bunkers, the stocks of Klarna and other first-rate companies will receive the attention they deserve,” he said.

Sequoia had participated in fundings from 2010 up to Klarna’s $3.5 billion valuation reached in 2019, but not at higher values before this precipitous down round. Klarna’s rival Affirm at the time was valued in the public markets at $5.2 billion.

There is a lot at stake for investors like Sequoia when values go south. But then we have also heard it said that this is a funders market.


The companies listed in this article for both up and down rounds require disclosed values in multiple funding rounds. These lists will not be comprehensive, but will capture some of the leading late-stage companies that have raised at high values.

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