One more, from Seed to IPO. Walkme goes public.
Updated: May 19, 2021
Yesterday our portfolio company Walkme announced that it would go public on the Nasdaq.
From Seed to IPO.
Walkme is the next company that we were fortunate to support from seed to IPO. We are incredibly proud of our friends and Walkme founders Rafi and Dan, the masterminds behind this success story, and the entire Walkme team for building this incredible venture. Thanks for having us on this fantastic ride!
'When Walkme raised its last round in 2019, it became one of Israel’s leading private tech companies. WalkMe surpassed $100M a year in annual revenues in 2019 and, according to market estimates, grew to $130-140M last year, leading to its achieving a positive cash flow. The company currently reports 2,000 clients, including large multinationals like Amazon, Microsoft, HP, Delta, Expedia, Comcast, Adobe, eBay, Mastercard, American Express, and Visa...'
Let's highlight four points in particular that resonate with our investment DNA
- Creating a New Category: The Walkme team has built from the ground up a new category called 'Digital Adoption Solutions'. What's even more remarkable is that the founders had this big vision from day one. We found in this team the passion that makes all the difference. Luckily we were able to buy into it early on, and kept on actively investing in the company until it became a unicorn. Creating a new category is extremely hard, and you have to do so by starting from humble beginnings... 'While the first iteration of Walkme’s product was a sort of website tutorial guide, the current generation possesses artificial intelligence capabilities that can sense when users encounter difficulties and automatically complete their tasks.'
'In an age in which most communications between a company and its clients is done digitally, companies need large and sophisticated websites that can answer a wide range of needs. Walkme develops platforms that aid companies, small and big, in carrying out digital transformations. It enables them to maximize their tech systems both from the user side, with guidelines and training, and on the analytics side, providing management with insights on what works and what doesn’t, to assist in their rapid transitions to digital platforms.'
This sounds already like magic, but it gets better...
- Focusing on Userfriendly Software: At Mangrove, we are obsessed with user-friendly products. And the Walkme team achieved to build one in a highly technical space. 'What makes its product unique is that it can be integrated into existing websites as an additional layer without requiring the writing of code. The people at the company that operate Walkme’s system are not programmers but rather members of the business’ sales and service teams.' Wizardry!
- Building a scalable sales machine: Dan and Rafi are often the first guys that we introduce our new B2B SaaS founders to when they start scaling their sales and marketing organization. I have rarely come across founders that can explain, from the ground up, and in simple terms, how to build an incredibly efficient and KPI-driven sales machine (more here for starters). It was also Rafi that taught me much about what really matters in this process and, of course, the famous 'Magic Number - the SaaS KPI that rules them all'. Here a pic from one of these brilliant sessions with him, that time with the Red Points team in early 2017.
- Choosing an IPO over a SPAC: Yes, you can do it! I especially like yesterday's headline from Calcalist: 'Unlike a slew of other Israeli companies who have chosen to merge with a SPAC, Walkme has chosen to enter Wall Street through the front door.' Last year, the founders and the board decided to walk away from a very lucrative opportunity to SPAC the company (more here). But, at the end of the day, a company of the nature of Walkme should go the classic route. There is nothing wrong with SPACs, but, in this case, it was the right choice.
Last week, I did a long hike with one of my childhood friends. It felt more refreshing than usual. The last year has been tiring for everyone. So, it is crucial to take a moment to breathe from time to time. The second part of 2021 will be a special time; let's make sure we are ready for it... I am finally back in Paris this week. Hit me up if you are around.
Life is awesome,
Other content I have found useful.
- Lessons From History About Post-Pandemic Booms. A great read. Check it out.
- How to thrive in the shadows of giants. Snap, the company behind Snapchat, has staged one of the most incredible turnarounds in tech history. That reveals a broader trend...