Less than a year after raising its prior round, software-as-a-service startup Sprinklr Inc. has closed on new capital in a deal that more than doubled its valuation, to $1.17 billion from $520 million, according to founder and Chief Executive Ragy Thomas.
With the $46 million in new funding, the New York company, which helps brands such as McDonald’s , Samsung and Virgin America manage their social media presence, joins a quickly expanding list of private, venture capital-backed companies that are worth $1 billion or more. The number of companies on that list is unprecedented in the history of venture capital.
The number of billion-dollar private companies has grown in part because valuations in the private markets are sometimes well above those that public markets tolerate, based on the companies’ revenue and growth rates.
Mr. Thomas said this isn’t the case with Sprinklr. Although increasing fast, its post-money valuation is “conservative,” Mr. Thomas said.
The company tripled its revenue and bookings over the past year, he said, which means it is growing faster than many of its publicly traded counterparts. Yet the valuation is “a discount to companies in our space with similar growth,” he said.
“It’s a very conservative multiple of our recurring annual revenue,” Mr. Thomas said. Mr. Thomas didn’t say what revenue Sprinklr had. Over the past year it acquired four companies.
The round wasn’t optimized for valuation, Mr. Thomas said. Should the company have gone out widely to raise the capital, he said he believes it would have raised at a much higher valuation.
Instead, Sprinklr opted to receive additional investments from its existing supporters. Battery Ventures, Iconiq Capital and Intel Capital, existing investors that co-led this round, all increased their share in the company, Mr. Thomas said. Intel Corp. is a Sprinklr customer.
Sprinklr, started in 2009, has now raised $123.5 million from investors. It has more than 700 employees across 10 offices.
The company’s software helps big corporations deal with social media, such as Twitter and Facebook , that were originally designed for use.
Some Sprinklr clients might have 5,000 social-media accounts that are all connected to their brands, Mr. Thomas said. It is hard for corporations to control, respond and manage all of these brand mentions, Mr. Thomas said. Sprinklr has almost 800 customers.
A customer would typically use Sprinklr’s software across departments, such as public relations, marketing, human resources and others. Each customer employee would log into Facebook or Twitter, not directly, but rather through Sprinklr, ensuring proper security and accountability for each use of the social-media accounts linked to the brand, Mr. Thomas said. The company’s software helps businesses identify what is being said about them online, as well as how and when to respond.
This need, Mr. Thomas said, is growing all the time, as the use of social media permeates societies around the world.
The way marketing and other corporate departments deal with potential customers is changing, Mr. Thomas said.
“It’s not so much what you are saying, it’s more what others are saying about you, in the new world,” he said.
Sprinklr’s competitors include Hootsuite Media Inc. and Brandwatch, as well as offerings from bigger companies such as Salesforce.com Inc.