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Ka-Ching: San Diego’s ClickUp rings up $400 million investment to fuel growth

ClickUp ads on Trolley cars in San Diego
(Courtesy of ClickUp)

East Village startup, which makes productivity software for businesses, reaches $4 billion valuation after latest funding round.

San Diego-based ClickUp, a fast-growing maker of productivity software tools for businesses, has raised $400 million in a third round of venture capital funding.

The latest influx of capital, announced Wednesday, gives ClickUp a valuation of $4 billion. It highlights how San Diego startups continue to raise massive amounts of money, with venture capital flowing into the region already eclipsing the $6.2 billion tallied by local startups during all of 2020.

In October alone, more than $1 billion has been raised in just three deals — Encinitas activewear brand Vuori ($400 million,), trucking logistics firm Flock Freight ($215 million) and now ClickUp.

SoftBank Vision Fund 2 bets big that performance apparel outfit becomes the next Southern California beach-inspired lifestyle brand to go mainstream.

Co-Founded in 2017 by Chief Executive Zeb Evans and Chief Technology Officer Alex Yurkowski, a former IBM engineer, ClickUp moved from the Bay Area to San Diego about two years ago.

The company now employs more than 700 workers — up from 50 in June 2020. A spokesperson declined to say how many were based in San Diego, but it’s believed to be a few hundred.

The company expects to add 1,000 employees to its U.S. workforce over the next three years.

Zeb Evans, co-founder of ClickUp
(Courtesy of ClickUp)

ClickUp has developed a cloud-based software platform that brings together homegrown workforce productivity tools inside one digital hub, such as project management, spreadsheets, document collaboration, goal tracking and communications/chat.

In all, there are 12 such tools inside ClickUp’s platform — soon to be 13.

Softbank Vision Fund 2 leads the funding round for Encinitas-based firm’s technology that pools truckloads for faster delivery and smaller carbon footprint.

There are plenty of well-financed competitors for ClickUp within each productivity software category, such as project management provider Wrike or chat program Slack. It’s common for these competitors to integrate their software into big workforce platforms such as Salesforce or Microsoft Office.

But Evans says ClickUp’s platform has advantages — offering a wide-ranging set of tools built in-house so they’re easier to use and scale as a business grows.

“Our perspective is that we don’t have a direct competitor that has all of those products in one platform,” said Evans. “Our thesis is doing it all-in-one is going to save people time and make people more productive. That value pitch lands very well with small companies and all the way up to large enterprises.”

The company has 85,000 paying customers for its subscription software, including employee groups at McDonald’s, Booking.com, Papa Johns, Netflix and the San Diego Padres. Evans declined to reveal the company’s revenue but said it has tripled in the past 12 months.

Overall, the business productivity software market is expected to grow 13 percent annually on average to $102 billion by 2027, according to Grand View Research.

The new funding brings ClickUp’s total capital raised to $535 million since the middle of 2020.

“This is plenty of capital for us to take huge bets and continue expansion globally,” said Evans. “We think this will likely be the last funding round before we IPO.”

In terms of timing for its initial public offering of stock, Evans thinks two or three years out is a reasonable timeframe.

Top-tier venture firms Andreessen Horowitz and Tiger Global led ClickUp’s latest funding round. They were joined by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Meritech Capital Partners. All four are new investors to the company.

“ClickUp’s unique offering in the market has fueled their rise as one of the fastest-growing software-as-a-service startups in the world,” said David George, general partner with Andreessen Horowitz, in a statement. “ClickUp is synonymous with the future of work, and we’re thrilled to partner with a company that has shown such a strong commitment to its users and product.”


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