Slide - Another View.
Daniel Primack writes in PE Week Wire — Tuesday, January 22 about a company that helps set some markers about possible valuations - not that any possible result accomplished by this data point relates to starting anything today or yesterday - unless you’ve hit the critical marker of demonstrative audience interest, growth, and importance - these values have only enough relationship to most every startUP to demonstrate POSSIBLE future values.
Slide Inc., a San Francisco-based maker of widgets for social networks like Facebook, reportedly has raised $50 million in new VC funding at a post-money valuation of between $500 million and $550 million. Fidelity Investments and T. Rowe Price co-led the deal. Past backers include Mayfield, Khosla Ventures, BlueRun Ventures and Founders Fund. www.slide.com.
CrunchBase reports the following for financings obviously prior to the report above, 2005 Series A - Max Levchin; July 05 Series B - $8.00M BlueRun Ventures, The Founder’s Fund; November 06 Series C $?.00M BlueRun Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Mayfield Fund, The Founder’s Fund.
Slide is successful, huge, top pedigree, best investors - probably even undervalued.
First slide is huge (they reach about a 1/3 of the us internet users, and have 150 million unique viewers monthly) - second they have an incredible pedigree in their founder Max Levchin, also the co-founder of PayPal, and finally their original investors are top shelf - meaning much of the financial design contingent upon success, was done by some of the most connected and best financial guys in the country.
The application is incredible and that makes a big barrier to entry.
If you get software on the internet platform at all - slide has a whole lot of software - and it’s massively scaled doing something quickly that’s complicated. So bravo to them - this is an excellent application. It’s use for the time being is admittedly primarily for leisure, but it’s easy to see most folk will have this basic functionality imbedded into whatever their presence is on the web in the future. That makes slide a possible even likely provider to that set of billions of users some day in the future. People that say anyone can do this and scale it and support it and change it ARE OUT OF THEIR MINDS or don’t understand what it takes to keep a site as massive as theirs moving forward.
They’ve got an incredible hook with incredible upside.
People complain (see BusinessWeek article) that by building a widget the widget provider is only using a piece of another application site. Of course that’s true and simple and logical but not at all correct. The number of widgets independent producers can create and the cutting edge performance utilized by small no-overhead teams in basements outstrips any one site provider’s technical prowess and magnitude. AND THE WIDEGTS BRING VAST INCREASED PERSONALIZATION UTILIZATION AND FUN TO USERS thereby dramatically enhancing the site value to its users. In fact over the long run sites that lack compatibility to large widget providers will be at a disadvantage! What do you think of that! Meaning every site soon needs to be open to essentially snapping in major widget providers products. They’re coming. They’re cool.
Rain on the parade.
Another fellow over at Adonomics writes some very interesting points primarily about not controlling their underlying platform and he compares Slide as a strategic threat to Facebook just like PayPal was a strategic threat to eBay, setting up a premium purchase sooner, rather than later by Facebook. Well - with a smile and respect - disagreed! Slide has the strangle hold on whatever platform users make them a dominant desirable functionality - and if they monetize through their horizontal channel they can pay the sites that they’re on - thereby taking the brunt of disaffection for inserting ads where they previously were not and paying the sites that were already having difficulty monetizing.
WINNER - SLIDE!