The seemingly low-stakes world of text and email customer messaging will mint some big fortunes Wednesday, when marketing technology firm Klaviyo Inc. begins trading in New York.
(Bloomberg) — The seemingly low-stakes world of text and email customer messaging will mint some big fortunes Wednesday, when marketing technology firm Klaviyo Inc. begins trading in New York.
Andrew Bialecki founded the Boston-based firm in 2012. The platform enables businesses to create targeted marketing campaigns, track customer behavior, and analyze their performance.
It grew rapidly, attracting investors including Summit Partners, Lone Pine Capital and Shopify. The company’s $30 a share offering price values it at $9 billion based on its fully diluted share count.
That’s set to make Bialecki, 37, very rich. He still owns about one-third of the company making him the company’s largest shareholder, a stake worth $3 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Born into a family of small business owners, Bialecki calls himself a proponent of ownership and independence.
“My advice to founders: raise as little as you need and prove some traction with customers,” Bialecki told Inspired Capital’s Alexa von Tobel in a 2022 podcast. “Once you do that, fundraising for the rest of your life gets a lot easier.”
A spokesperson for Klaviyo didn’t respond to a request for comment.
READ MORE: Shopify-Backed Klaviyo Draws BlackRock to $518 Million IPO
After studying physics, astronomy, and astrophysics at Harvard University, Bialecki joined retail analytics firm Applied Predictive Technologies as an engineer. He later worked at marketing software companies Performable and Rocktech Digital before starting Klaviyo.
He was joined by Ed Hallen, an MIT graduate who also worked at Applied Predictive Technologies and is now the company’s chief product officer. Hallen, 41, owns a stake in Klaviyo worth more than $1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Bialecki and Hallen have already begun cashing in on their company’s success. Bialecki sold almost $30 million of stock in a repurchase program in 2020, while Hallen sold shares worth $90 million between 2020 and 2021.
Klaviyo had net income of about $15 million on revenue of $321 million for the first six months of 2023, compared with a loss of $25 million on revenue of $208 million for the same period last year. Its initial public offering raised $576 million.
In its prospectus, Klaviyo says efficiency “is part of our DNA.” Of the $455 million in primary capital it had raised before the company’s IPO, the company says it spent only $15 million in the operation of its business.
Klaviyo joins a mini-wave of companies going public in September, including Instacart and Arm Holdings Plc, ending the longest lull in US listings since the financial crisis.
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