Twilio brings hope for herd of unicorns, files for IPO
May 27, 2016
Twilio, a VC-backed tech company based in San Francisco, has filed for a $100 million IPO. The company offers an API for telecommunications, enabling developers to incorporate voice/video calls and text messages into their applications. Founded in 2008, Twilio has raised about $233 million in funding from firms including Bessemer Venture Partners (28.5% pre-IPO stake) and Union Square Ventures (13.6%). A $130 million Series E round last year generated a valuation of $1.03 billion.
News of Twilio’s IPO filing should undoubtedly be well received by venture capitalists and startups alike. By most accounts, Twilio is a great, growing company, with revenues and gross profits increasing heftily YoY. In 2016, for example, the company is on pace to hit $130 million in gross profits, a 41% increase from the $92.5 million registered in 2015.
There has been a notable drought of VC-backed tech IPOs in the U.S. this year. 1Q logged zero, and until Twilio, Acacia Communications (NASDAQ: ACIA) accounted for the only one in 2Q. So Twilio will likely act as a gauge for other private tech companies—a warm reception of Twilio’s IPO could convince the herd of unicorns that the public market isn’t as terrifying a place as it may seem. We’re looking at you, Dropbox and Spotify.