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However one wishes to measure entrepreneurial success, New York City’s overhyped startup scene has generally failed to deliver.
The city’s top 15 exits of venture-backed companies since 2012 represent a total valuation that is dwarfed by the recent IPO of Los Angeles-based Snap. Even a seeming success story like Tumblr, bought by Yahoo for $1.1 billion in 2013, managed to devolve into a latter-day turd as its value was written down to nothing post-acquisition.
Yext provides a platform to let businesses manage their presence across a wide range of online destinations. The company was founded in 2006 and has raised $117 million in venture capital. When it begins trading tomorrow, it’s expected to start with a market valuation around $900 million, which represents a decent return for investors who may have been waiting on this moment for a decade. The company itself will pocket about $95 million and will price the shares between $8 and $10.
Still, don’t expect the glow to last long. The company reported revenues of $124.3 million for its fiscal year 2017 (ending January 31) — up from $89.7 million the previous year — which is giving it enough momentum for an IPO. But its losses also increased to $43.2 million for FY 2017, up from $26.5 million in FY 2016.
Investors don’t have much patience. Yext will need to post another year of strong revenue growth and narrow those losses. Otherwise, investors might not stick around. And the last thing NYC’s startup reputation needs is an IPO that crashes and burns right out of the gate.
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