Startup News: Klaviyo and Instacart have filed SEC paperwork to go public

Two highly-valued startups on the short list of companies expected to launch IPOs in the coming year have taken a big step toward their public debuts.

On August 25,Klaviyo, the data and marketing automation company that helps companies with their email marketing efforts, filed paperwork with the SEC to go public on the New York Stock Exchange using the ticker KVYO. On the same day, Instacart, the online grocery-delivery service, filed paperwork with the SEC to go public on Nasdaq using the ticker CART.

Neither company has specified an IPO date.

Founded in 2012, Boston-based Klaviyo got its start in the e-commerce industry by primarily serving online businesses, though Klaviyo said it’s seeing growing demand from companies in other industries such as restaurants, travel, and events and entertainment. One of Klaviyo’s biggest financial backers is Shopify, the Canada-based e-commerce company. According to Klaviyo's SEC filings, Shopify owns 11% of Klaviyo’s shares and invested $100 million in the company in August 2022.

In Klaviyo’s IPO prospectus, members of the public got a glimpse of the private company’s financials: Klaviyo reported a net income of $15.2 million for the first six months of 2023, compared with a net loss of $24.6 million during the same period a year ago. The company had revenue of approximately $321 million for the first half of the year, compared to $208 million in the first half of 2022.

Klaviyo’s last known valuation was $9.5 billion, based on its last financing round in 2021. Meanwhile, San Francisco-based Instacart disclosed in its IPO prospectus that its net income in the second quarter of 2023 was $114 million, compared to $8 million in the second quarter of 2022. The company, which had revenues of $716 million in the quarter ended June 30, 2023, has been profitable for five straight quarters. Instacart also reported that PepsiCo has agreed to purchase $175 million in convertible preferred stock in a private placement deal. The private placement is contingent upon, and scheduled to close immediately subsequent to, the closing of Instacart's IPO.

Founded in 2012, Instacart’s valuation was $39 billion as of February 2021.

Databricks Reportedly in Talks for Funding Round Led by T. Rowe Price

Databricks, a provider of data analytics software for companies, could achieve a big boost to its valuation if a reported funding round takes place.

Bloomberg reported recently that the San Francisco-based company, according to unnamed sources, is in discussions with mutual fund firm T. Rowe Price about a new funding round that would value the company at $43 billion. Databricks’ last known valuation was $37.9 billion, based on a funding round led by Counterpoint Global in August 2021.

According to Bloomberg, “the talks are preliminary and could fall apart.” The Bloomberg article also said that a company spokesman declined to comment on the reported funding talks.

In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Databricks Chief Executive Officer Ali Ghodsi said the company was well-capitalized and didn’t need to raise additional funds but might consider doing so for strategic reasons.

In recent months, Databricks’ fortunes have been helped by its embrace of artificial intelligence technology. In April, the company announced it was introducing its latest version of “Dolly,” a large-language model that will help its corporate customers build their own generative AI applications. And in June, the company, which was founded in 2013, announced that it had generated $1 billion in annual revenue.

About the Author

John Kimelman is a veteran journalist who has worked at Barron’s and CNBC covering such topics as investing and commercial banking. Mr. Kimelman has received compensation from Forge Global, Inc. for authoring this article. Read more from John.

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