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WhatsApp Was Valued At ~$1.5B In Final Round Before Sale


WhatsApp did a great job of being surreptitious about its funding while growing into a messaging monster. But as they say, the truth always comes out.

In this case, the truth is that the company had three rounds of financing, with Sequoia as the sole investor. According to documents unearthed by VC Experts, WhatsApp went from a $250k seed round in 2009 to an $8 million round at an ~$80 million valuation in 2011.

The final round, which we reported as a Series C here but was actually technically a Series B, was a $52 million round back in July 2013, at a ~$1.5 billion valuation.

Guess the news that Facebook was interested in scooping up the simple messaging app, as well as its exponentially expanding userbase (around 200 million at the time of this investment), drove the company’s worth up a couple of orders of magnitude.

The filings add up to the $60 million we previously reported, with Sequoia eventually owning over 20 percent of WhatsApp. Its stake is now worth about $3.2 billion in cash and stock, an over 50x return on its investment in the company.

What is most interesting about the filing is that the B is a participating preferred round with a 3x liquidation preference, which means that in the case of a low exit, investors would have seen a 3x return on their investment before WhatsApp employees saw any amount.

This does not apply in the case of this particular acquisition, which at $19 billion is the largest buy of any venture-backed company in history. TGIF.


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