RALEIGH — Cloud tech startup Pendo is officially a “unicorn,” hitting the rarified $1 billion valuation mark after securing $100 million in its round of funding, the company announced today.
It’s not entirely unexpected that Pendo is a unicorn, a term that dates to 2007 and is used to define a tech startup still privately held reaches a valuation of $1 billion based on private and public investment. The status remains relatively rare with Cary-based Epic Games and Wilmington-based nCino recently reaching the status.
CEO and founder Todd Olson, 43, had hinted a few months back that the company was “pretty darn close” to the $1 billion mark. But this achievement is no less significant, especially considering the firm’s humble beginnings at HQ Raleigh just six years earlier.
Last September, Pendo raised $50 million, pushing its funding total at that time to $106 million.
As Pendo points out in its release, its meteoric rise “reflects a broader shift in the market.”
“User experience is the new competitive battleground, and companies are desperate for tools that help them create software that is easy to use and intuitive,” the firm said in its release. “This has led companies to spend $3.8 trillion on technology/software this year.”
That’s clearly a boon for Pendo, which prides itself on providing Software as a Service (SaaS) that is “modernizing the user interface.”
Founded in 2013, Pendo has been growing consistently at a rate of “100 percent year over year,” Olson told WRAL TechWire in June as part of an extended interview.
The startup has more than doubled in size – from 174 to 400 employees – in just the last 18 months. It’s also expanded into Europe, acquiring Receptive Software Limited, a privately held SaaS company based out of Sheffield, England, earlier this year.
The company now has offices in Raleigh, New York City, San Francisco, London, Sheffield, United Kingdom, and Tel Aviv.
With this latest injection of funds, the firm said it plans “to accelerate global expansion through sales and marketing investments, and product development through engineering investments and acquisitions.”
It’s also on track to employ 1,000 people worldwide by the end of 2023, creating 600 new jobs in Raleigh alone over the next five years and investing $34.5 million investment in Wake County.
The company also working on new digs. Pendo agreed to a seven-year lease with The Fallon Company to occupy the 19th floor of its new tower building at 301 Hillsborough, currently under construction and expected to be complete by 2021.
It’s clear that Olson doesn’t plan to slow down anytime soon.
“It’s funny. Now I’m sort of thinking, what’s that next goal?” he has said. “Is $1 billion in revenue the next goal? Maybe.”