That's been the story for the past year-plus at DoorDash, the food delivery company that raised $600 million in new funding this week at a $12.6 billion valuation, continuing a stretch in which its valuation has soared by $11.2 billion in a mere 14 months.
It's a stunning ascent. But in a VC world where massive piles of cash are easier to come by than ever, it's not quite unprecedented. The rapidly rising valuations of DoorDash and a handful of other unicorns are among the nine things you need to know from the past week:
1. Dashing and dealingDoorDash's valuation climb has been sudden. But in at least one way, it's also been kind of gradual. This week's funding—which included new cash from existing backers like Sequoia, SoftBank and DST Global—was the company's fourth in the past 14 months, part of a group of rounds that have added nearly $1.8 billion to its cash stockpile. After reaching a $1.4 billion valuation in March 2018, DoorDash raised $250 million at a $4 billion valuation in August, followed by $400 million more at a $7.1 billion valuation in February.
It calls to mind a stretch experienced a few years ago by WeWork (aka The We Company). In February 2014, the co-working space provider brought in a $150 million Series C at a valuation of nearly $1.5 billion, its first foray above the $1 billion mark. That December, WeWork raised a Series D at a $5 billion valuation, and by June 2015 it had ascended to a $10.2 billion valuation.
In the years since, those figures have only continued to climb. Today, WeWork is reportedly worth $47 billion, making it the most valuable VC-backed company in the US.
It assumed that title from Uber after the ridehailing company's IPO. And as it so happens, Uber is another rare example of a startup that's seen exponential valuation growth in a tiny window of time. Valued at a relatively minor $347 million in 2012, Uber first became a unicorn in August 2013, hitting a $3.7 billion valuation. The next June it reached $18.2 billion, and by December 2014 its VC backers had valued it at a staggering $41.2 billion.
Alongside DoorDash, another company has been experiencing a similar (if not quite as severe) valuation escalation in recent months. That would be UiPath, a robotic process automation specialist that was valued at $7.1 billion with a $568 million funding in April. The new capital came after a $3 billion valuation last November, and just 13 months after UiPath became a unicorn with a $153 million round at a $1.1 billion valuation in March 2018.
That's a lot of numbers, and none of them mean that either DoorDash or UiPath is destined to someday become the most valuable VC-backed company in America. But it does mean the two are off to pretty promising starts.