Why did Point Nine Capital invested $12 million in Whereby?
This week Whereby announced raising $12 million for a SAAS op selling a video collaboration tool for freelancers and small companies.
If you don't know what Whereby is - in 2013 two guys bought out from Telenor, the Norwegian telecom company, a software tool called Appear.in and used for video collaboration.
The two are Øyvind Reed and Jørn Mikalsen - the latter previously involved in Tandberg, acquired by Cisco for NOK 19bn ($2.5bn) in 2010.
The deal was initially made for a share of 70% in the company controlling it, called Videonor - they worked on Appear.in within Telenor's digital incubator until 2017 when they bought it entirely.
In 2020 they renamed it Whereby and this week they announced closing a $12 million series A investment round, backed by Point Nine Capital and some 20 high profile angel investors. Point Nine initially invested in the company at the beginning of 2020, in a deal that was announced just now, with the series A.
I don't remember seeing recently too many VCs from Europe so enthusiastic publicly after closing a series A round. Add to the unusual the fact that the said VC is German. :-)
There's a few reasons for that:
First - the relief/excitement for being right 15 months ago, by backing a video SAAS outsider before the pandemic. 2020 was the year of crossing the chasm for Whereby - that writing was on the wall, the pandemic just transformed an upward demand trend of using video conference tools as a WFH mean into a hockey stick.
Second - the execution was there. I bet that it wasn't an easy, straighforward year for the Norwegians, but the end result is nothing short of remarkable - 4.5x yoy in a market that is expected to grow in the double digits CAGR in the next 5-10 years. A market dominated by heavy enterprise providers like Cisco, Zoom, Microsoft and Google.
Third - the best is yet to come. Not only the PMF is there as reflected by the 2020 results, but Whereby truly has the potential to become a $100 million a year company in less than 3 years. The dream of every VC, and usually the definition of a great SAAS startup investment.
We created a report digging deeper into the fundamentals and analysing the specific numbers about Whereby's growth potential.
Our conclusion: Whereby is a serious unicorn candidate and has the opportunity to be one of the European special startups.
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The report includes:
- Whereby's pricing analysis and arpa (average revenue per account) decomposition
- the company's customer segmentation and go to market.
- financial projections for the next 5 years
- risks and future evolution