By: Alex Konrad Sprinklr CEO Ragy Thomas has a lot more money to pour into his business. (Credit: David Yellen for Forbes)
Managing the social media of the world’s biggest brands is a valuable business.
Sprinklr announced on Wednesday that it has raised an additional $105 million from Singapore investment firm Temasek and global investor Wellington, valuing the company at $1.8 billion. The New York-based startup’s new price tag represents a 50% jump while avoiding stringent terms that face some ‘unicorn’ billion-dollar companies as they look to increase their value.
“Trying to get ahead on valuation is a game we’ve never played,” says CEO Ragy Thomas, who cofounded the company out of a spare bedroom seven years ago. “When the market is hot and heavy you might get more, but for us it doesn’t really matter because we are not playing in this for the short term.”
Sprinklr offers software to big businesses to manage all their social media across various channels from one central platform, from the planning stages to publishing and then tracking customer interaction and feedback with a post. The company works with 1,200 brands today, headlined by Nike, McDonald’s, P&G, FORBES and Microsoft, which recently announced a strategic partnership with Sprinklr to integrate it into Office 365 and other products. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella even called out the startup as a key customer early into the tech giant’s quarterly earnings call earlier in the week.
While Sprinklr has aggressively acquired smaller startups to build out its platform, it’s partnered effectively with bigger companies that have large services operations to boost its sales. In addition to Microsoft, Sprinklr partners with IBM, SAP, Accenture, Deloitte, Capgemini and Ernst & Young. “Companies are dealing with social as a transformational opportunity,” Thomas says. “These relationships become multi-million dollar strategic, front office transformations based on social.” That’s meant big business for Sprinklr, which passed $100 million in annualized revenue in the fall of 2015 on 150% growth, as detailed in a FORBES magazine profile from the January 20, 2016 issue. The company employs 1,200 people globally and plans to expand headcount with the new funding, especially in engineering and sales. While Thomas has said in the past he wasn’t sure if Sprinklr would need a new funding round on the path to potentially going public in recent years, the CEO says this funding buys Sprinklr “a lot more runway” without being strictly needed. The startup observed a very different market when it raised this new round compared to last year, its chief executive notes, but Thomas says his company wasn’t as affected as it was large enough to be valued on a multiple of its financials similar to the public market. The company says it didn’t have to take on stringent conditions in the round that would force it toward a quick public offering. “We haven’t altered our decision to go or not to go public,” Thomas says. “The business is continuing to exceed our plans.”
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