Klaviyo's strong IPO pricing should give unicorns an idea of what they are worth

Last night Klaviyo, a Boston-based marketing automation company, priced its IPO at $30 per share, $1 above its previous price range, which it had raised recently. This pricing looks to be a win for the late-stage startup, as it gives the company a fully diluted valuation of around $9.2 billion, which isn’t all that far from its last private valuation of $9.5 billion.

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After making us wait, Klaviyo started trading at around $37 per share, and is currently at $35.51 per share, up nearly 18%. Akin to other recent IPOs, Klaviyo is having a good first trading day.

Defending — or nearly defending — a 2021-era valuation in a 2023 IPO is impressive, given how much the value of tech companies has changed in the past year and a half. In fact, venture capitalist Jason Lemkin used Klaviyo’s pricing and trading today to tell startups that its debut will be the “ultimate” measuring stick for other software companies in 2023 and 2024. Whatever Klaviyo manages in terms of its valuation and resulting metrics, private tech companies are “almost certainly worth less” than what the newly-public concern manages, he wrote.

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