Between 2016 and 2021, investors boosted the valuation of Sendbird, a communications software startup, to $1.1 billion, from $6.5 million.
This June, a different kind of evaluator gave Sendbird what might have sounded like frightening news: It had determined the startup was worth around 50% less than it had been a year ago. But that conclusion didn’t bother John Kim, Sendbird’s CEO and a co-founder. If anything, he saw it as positive, he told The Information.
That’s because the harsh opinion came from a company that conducts 409A valuations, appraisals that shape the price at which private companies issue stock options to their employees. Like many founders, Kim prefers a conservative 409A valuation, though one that still represents his company’s worth accurately.