Salsify, a startup that sells software to retail brands including Revlon and Coca-Cola, became Boston’s latest “unicorn” company on Wednesday.
Led by former Endeca executive Jason Purcell, Salsify raised $200 million in a deal that valued the company at $2 billion — the first time it has been valued at more than $1 billion (to reach unicorn status). The deal was led by investment firm TPG and also included Permira’s Growth Opportunities Fund, Neuberger Berman Funds, and Cap Table Coalition.
With the new money, the company is planning to expand further in Asia and Australia, cofounder and chief executive Purcell said in an interview.
“That necessitates us continuing to build our global footprint … and making sure that we get people on the ground that can support our customers is a big part of it,” he said. The company currently has about 800 employees, with 300 in the Boston area, he said.
The 10-year-old firm, which helps retailers list products online and track sales, reached $111 million in annual recurring revenue at the end of last year, 53 percent more than at the end of 2020. It had 1,160 customers, a 36 percent increase. New customers in 2021 included Le Creuset, Colgate, and UberEats.
Salsify isn’t thinking about going public yet, though that is a potential move in the future, CEO Purcell said.
“We are certainly building a company with aspirations to be a public company one day, and we have a lot of work before we’re ready to be there,” he said. “We’re not ready to do it. But it’s something that we aspire to.”
After several years of rapidly rising valuations for startups in Massachusetts, Salsify is one of only a few that have reached unicorn status this year amid a slowdown in venture capital deals. ConcertAI in Cambridge hit a value of $2 billion in a March fund-raising, and cybersecurity company Pentera hit $1 billion in January.