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🚀 Roblox shines in public debut
Plus, how are celebrities creating their own currencies?
Bessemer Venture Partners released its annual “State of the Cloud” report - it’s like Spotify Wrapped for public & private SaaS companies! A few takeaways:
The top five public cloud companies (by market cap) were up 70% in 2020, with PayPal rocketing ahead of Salesforce and Adobe to claim the #1 spot.
The combined market cap for public cloud companies climbed 120% in the past year, reaching $2 trillion! This compares to 45% growth from 2019 - 2020.
2020 was a big year for exits - Snowflake’s market cap at IPO ($34B) was the largest software IPO in history by 3x, while Salesforce’s acquisition of Slack (at a ~35x revenue multiple) was the highest price in cloud M&A history.
The average revenue multiple for the top 100 private cloud companies jumped from 13x in 2019 to 23x in 2020. However, these companies are growing faster than ever, with higher “growth endurance” (growth stays strong as a company scales).
🖼️ NFT auction breaks records. NFTs hit the mainstream media this week after digital artist Beeple sold a photo collage for a record-setting $69.3M. The piece was auctioned by Christie’s, marking the first foray by a major auction house into digital art. The buyers were two anonymous crypto investors who paid in Ether and later spoke on Clubhouse about the experience (very 2021!). The sale was also a win for MakersPlace, the platform where the piece was minted and published - check out our summary of the major players if you’d like to learn more!
📦 Coupang becomes year’s largest IPO. E-commerce company Coupang, known as the “Amazon of South Korea,” had a monster IPO. The company raised $4.6B (the largest U.S. IPO of 2021), and the stock popped 41% on the first day of trading. Coupang ended the week at a $83B market cap - this is a win for SoftBank’s Vision Fund, which first invested at a $9B valuation and still owns 35%. Though Coupang is unprofitable, the company had a strong 2020, with 91% revenue growth and impressive cohorts.
🕺 Roblox soars in public debut. Gaming platform Roblox finally went public this week via direct listing! The company’s stock quickly climbed past the reference price of $45, ending the week at $70. Roblox is now trading at a $38B market cap, an impressive markup from its last private round at $28.5B in January. However, Roblox wasn’t an overnight success story - the company was founded in 2004 and took 14 years to become a unicorn (First Round made a cool graph on this!).
💻 Dropbox acquires DocSend. Dropbox announced this week that it will pay $165M to buy DocSend, which makes it easy to securely share documents and track who has accessed them. DocSend was founded in 2013 and raised a total of $15.3M. The company has 17,000 customers, and became the default way for founders to share decks and data rooms with VCs. As a result, DocSend collects and publishes some fascinating data on fundraising - check out their latest report on pre-seed rounds.
Disney+ continues to blow past expectations, and just crossed 100M subscribers! It took 16 months to reach this milestone, significantly faster than the 5+ years Disney expected when it launched. Though Disney+ still has just half the subscriber base of Netflix, it’s already crushing Hulu and quickly catching up to Amazon Prime 😮.
Disney+’s growth has been fueled by exclusive original content like WandaVision, Star Wars: The Mandalorian, and Hamilton - CEO Bob Chapek noted that the company will be doubling down here, with a goal of releasing 100+ new titles per year.
what we’re following 👀
Substack announced a new program where writers can get a minimum guarantee for their first year on the platform.
Tomio Geron on how the CryptoKitties team struck gold with NBA Top Shot.
Roll allows creators to launch their own currency - which Terry Crews did this week!
Dan Rose shares lessons learned from a decade working for Sheryl Sandberg.
As we reach a year in quarantine, Zoom fatigue is getting very real! Some companies are switching meetings to audio-only, while others are moving to platforms that better recreate the office experience.
One example of this is virtual HQ platform Gather, which just announced a $26M Series A from Sequoia. Gather allows hosts to build out offices, classrooms, and more. As a user, you navigate rooms with a movable avatar that mimics real world interactions - if you move away from another avatar, their sound gets quieter. You can even enter “conference room” spaces where other users can’t see or hear you.
As more companies commit to staying (at least partially) remote, it’s unlikely that virtual offices will entirely disappear post-COVID. On the consumer side, there’s also an opportunity to replace or augment the voice room hangouts that happened via FaceTime or Discord pre-COVID. Some other companies to check out:
Rume offers shared whiteboards and games within video chats. Plus, you can pull other users into one-on-one or small group chats while keeping an eye on the “action” in the main room! Rume graduated from YC last summer.
Here is probably the most closely competitive to Gather - but instead of building out realistic-looking spaces, users create shared digital spaces where they can add GIFs, videos, games, and more. Here raised a seed round in October.
Rally is more events-oriented, but allows attendees to jump between virtual tables (mimicking an IRL networking event). Rally also supports smaller gatherings, team socials, and more - one of our favorite use cases was a murder mystery!
Around allows teams to collaborate with less stress. Instead of staring at yourself on Zoom all day, your colleagues appear in small, circular videos on top of your screen. The company announced a Series A in March.
Have you used any cool new platforms that make remote work, school, or hangouts more fun? Let us know in the comments!
Karat - Biz Ops and GTM Associate (Remote)
Carrot - Ops Associate (Remote)
Shef - Community Onboarding Associate (Remote, SF)
Linear - Chief of Staff (NYC, Remote)
Flatiron School - Chief of Staff (NYC, Remote)*
Republic - BD Associate (SF, NYC)
Affirm - Growth Strategy Analyst (SF)
Instacart - Strategy & Biz Ops Associate (SF)
FalconX - Corporate Strategy Associate (SF)*
Emerson Collective - Associate/Senior Associate, Growth Investing (Palo Alto)
Pillar VC - Associate (Boston)
Zocdoc - Commercial & Ops Strategy Associate (NYC)
WELL Health - BD Intern (Remote)
Baseline - MBA Strategy & Ops Intern (Remote, NYC)
Uber - Performance Marketing Intern (SF)
Flexport - UX Research Intern (SF)
done - Social Media Intern (SF)
Senreve - Undergrad Intern (SF)
ClickUp - Marketing Intern (San Diego)
K50 Ventures - Grad Student Summer Analyst (NYC)
Snap - Global Brand Strategy Intern (NYC)
Oishii - Social Media Intern (NYC)
puppy of the week 🐶
Meet Edith (on the right) and Rune, two bull terriers who live in Sweden! Edith is four-and-a-half years old, and Rune will turn four this summer.
They enjoy playing in the woods, running around with their human siblings, and going on walks in the snow.
Follow them on Instagram @madaboutfrank!
Hi! 👋 We’re Justine and Olivia Moore, identical twins and venture investors at CRV. Thanks for reading Accelerated. We’d love your feedback - feel free to tweet us @venturetwins or email us at email@example.com.