The Winners in the 2019 Rise in Valuations

September 3, 2019

In the venture capital and private equity universe, valuations are what matter.  Valuations determine, at least on paper, whether fund managers are doing their job and thereby whether their performance justifies further investments.  Given that 2019 has seen a fair share of massive valuation increases, the question here is as simple as possible – Which companies have won the valuation game in 2019 so far?

A look follows, based upon data gathered by private equity data provider Pitchbook.

The Top Valuation Gains in 2019 by Step-Up Multiple

The following table from Pitchbook has the largest valuation jumps by step-up multiple.  For definitional purposes, a step-up multiple is the result of dividing the company’s current valuation by the valuation of a previous round.  Before looking, take a guess at which company is first on the list. Remember, this is step-up multiple, so companies with small previous post-money valuations will likely show up high on the list.

Interestingly, the top valuation jump according to the step-up multiple is vuori.  The clothing brand had a previous valuation of just $4.7 million.  After a new round of funding, vuori jumped to a post-money valuation of $165 million.  These two figures equate to a step-up multiple of 35.1x. 

In second place is fabfitfun.  The company closed a Series A round on January 30th at a post-money valuation of $850 million, a massive increase in value from its previous valuation of just $25 million.  The resultant valuation step-up is 34.0x.

Third place belongs to THIRDLOVE.  On February 26th, a late-stage investment valued the company at $660 million, well above its previous post-money valuation of $24 million.  The valuation step-up for THIRDLOVE was 27.5x.

Fourth place belongs to SIMPLE Mills, with a Series B valuation of $177 million.  The $177 million post-money valuation was $166.5 million more than its previous $10.5 million post-money valuation, giving it a valuation step-up of 16.9x.

Rounding out the top five is FAST RADIUS, with a Series B valuation of $352 million.  The previous post-money valuation was just $21.8 million, equating to a step-up multiple of 16.1x.

The other members on the list include (step-up multiple in parentheses) NUTRAFOL (14.4x), states title (13.9x), Ike (12.1x), POSTMAN (11.3x), and TaxJar (10.6x).

Source: Pitchbook

The Top Valuation Gains in 2019 by Post-Money Valuation

Shifting the measure to post-money valuation gains, the following figure has the largest valuation gains in post-money valuation.  Take a guess before looking at the list – the top valuation gainers will likely be unsurprising given the financial press’ coverage of many of these companies.

The top post-money valuation gainer in 2019 so far is WeWork.  The space sharing startup saw its valuation expand by a whopping $25.8 billion to $47 billion in its most recent funding found.  We will see whether Wall Street agrees with this private assessment.

In second place is Doordash.  The food delivery service saw its post-money valuation increase by $5.5 billion from a valuation of $7.1 billion.

Rounding out the top three is UiPath.  UiPath saw a valuation increase of $4.1 billion, a more than 100% increase from its previous post-money valuation of $3 billion.

The remaining big valuation gainers (valuation gain in parentheses) include SpaceEx ($3.6 billion/$3.3 billion), Wish ($3.2 billion), Doordash ($3.1 billion), Unity ($3.1 billion), TripActions ($2.8 billion) and Root Insurance Company ($2.7 billion).

Source: Pitchbook

Conclusion

This year has been incredibly strong for valuations, in particular for companies at the top end of the valuation spectrum.  May American entrepreneurism live on forever.

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