In reel life, the “Postman always rings twice twice Wikipedia 'The Postman Always Rings Twice' is a 1981 American neo-noir thriller film Read more ”.

In real life, Bengaluru-based and San Francisco-headquartered software-as-a-service (SaaS) startup Postman seems to have followed the same credo.

Last week, the company announced announced Crunchbase News Postman Raises $150M, Reaching $2B Valuation Read more it has raised US$150 million in a new funding round at a valuation of US$2 billion—twice the number needed to earn the “startup unicorn” moniker.

Even in a milieu where unicorn valuations are de rigueur, Postman’s funding announcement was met with surprise and awe.

Why so?

While Postman was a well-regarded startup in developer circles, it was hitherto almost unknown in the broader ecosystem. With around 250 employees and annual recurring revenue (ARR) in the US$30-40 million range, Postman was a mid-level startup. Far smaller than other Indian SaaS startups Indian SaaS startups The Ken After an Annus Mirabilis, what does 2020 hold for Indian SaaS? Read more like Freshworks* and Zoho in terms of both team size and revenue.

That didn’t stop Postman from becoming the fourth Indian SaaS unicorn (following Freshworks, Druva, and Icertis). And it reached this milestone just six years after incorporation. In comparison, Freshworks Freshworks The Ken The Freshworks journey from zero to $100 million Read more took eight years, Druva 11, and Icertis 10. The latest round also makes Postman the second-highest-valued VC-funded SaaS startup in India. And, perhaps surprisingly, Bengaluru’s first SaaS unicorn.

What was perhaps most surprising, though, was that the latest funding round came just a year after the company raised US$50 million, at a valuation of US$350 million. Which means it has recorded almost a 6X growth in valuation in just 12 months. That too during a pandemic, when most other startups are struggling struggling The Ken Covid-19’s impact on startups: Black Swan or something else? Read more to stay afloat.

How did Postman reach unicorn status seemingly overnight? Why was it valued at US$2 billion when its revenue and scale are much smaller than other SaaS unicorns? Does this signal the beginning of a new funding chapter in India, especially concerning SaaS investments?

The answers to these questions need to be explored in two halves.


Sumanth Raghavendra

Sumanth is a serial entrepreneur with more than eighteen years experience in running startups. He is currently the founder of Deck App Technologies, a Bangalore-based startup attempting to re-imagine productivity software for the Post-PC era. Sumanth’s columns appear regularly in leading publications. He holds MBA degrees from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore and Thunderbird, The American Graduate School of International Management, USA.

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