As SoftBank, the Japanese investment giant continues its deal-making spree, India’s unicorn tally touches the 50 mark. Its latest is a $100 million top-up in software firm MindTickle, valuing it at a billion dollars. Around 16 startups bagged unicorn status in 2021 with this latest entrant. Pune-based MindTickle is close to finalizing a $100-million funding round from Softbank’s Vision Fund 2, taking the company’s valuation to $1.1 billion. Last year, Softbank had invested $100 million in the company at a valuation of $500 million.
If the latest deal comes through, it will substantially lift the company’s valuation against its previous funding round in November last year, when its value was at $500 million. Qualcomm Ventures, Canaan, Norwest Venture Partners, and NewView Capital are among MindTickle’s investors.
The startup was founded in 2011 by Krishna Depura, Mohit Garg, Deepak Diwakar and Nishant Mungali to assist firms in scaling up their sales capabilities comprising training, boarding, and working on every aspect of sales, practicing and upgrading it with the help of technology.
The company initially had mid-size and large corporations as its client in the tech domain, but now it has clients across industries such as pharma, oil and gas, financial services, and medical devices. “MindTickle was looking to raise funds and Softbank did not want to let go of the chance and, hence, they are reinvesting in them,” said a source close to the development.
Funding to boost revenue generation
While MindTickle had an Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) of about $25-30 million when SoftBank last invested, it currently has an ARR of $38 million, which will touch $40 million by the time the deal officially closes. So, the valuation is doubling while the revenue hasn’t folded yet.
This doubling of valuation is also because of the funding environment, where SaaS companies are raising funds at more aggressive valuation multiples than ever before- at 30-35 times ARR. The current deal still puts MindTickle’s valuation at about 25 times revenue- aggressive in usual times but expected during the recent funding boom, said another person tracking the company, requesting anonymity.
MindTickle, with several technology-based clients and non-tech clients beginning to use tech, has benefitted from the pandemic, as sales onboarding remotely has become vital.
During the pandemic outbreak, “We saw our procedure pick up. Because now people couldn’t do their sales opening anymore in person. You cannot hire people by flying them into your headquarters. So remote communication was more important than ever. So traditional non-tech sectors became much more favorable to us. We have got multi-year renewals from some of these companies because they have realized that the pandemic will come and go, but technology is part of our lives,” CEO Depura.
“We witnessed a lot of good traction, and in new sectors seeing a domino effect. There is enough product-market fit and validation. So, we have to scale. For example, readiness is a much bigger category today,” he added.