Klaviyo, a digital marketing software-as-a-service platform, has filed for an initial public offering (IPO) to assist online businesses in attracting consumers in an era of spam, unreliable data, and privacy regulations. Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Boston, Klaviyo is perhaps unfamiliar to individuals, but its impact is evident through the automated email and text promotions received from online businesses. Many of these communications are facilitated through Klaviyo, even though the platform’s name is not explicitly mentioned.
With over 130,000 customers as of June 30, Klaviyo primarily serves small to medium-sized businesses and mid-market companies. The platform also collaborates with e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Salesforce’s Commerce Cloud, Square, Wix.com, and integrates with Amazon’s Buy with Prime. Klaviyo’s IPO would mark the first software IPO in some time and follows a financially successful year for the company, including a recent turn towards profitability.
Klaviyo’s IPO emerges within the broader context of shifts in the digital marketing industry. Online retailers aim to leverage the vast amount of consumer data available to refine and personalize their marketing efforts. Platforms like Klaviyo and Braze have emerged to assist businesses in real-time customer data collection and informed responsiveness, in contrast to the previous reliance on third-party sources like Facebook, Google, and Amazon. Privacy concerns and restrictions have made it increasingly challenging for social media platforms to collect and monetize customer data, resulting in the popularity of platforms like Klaviyo and Braze, which do not include their branding in messaging.
Recognizing the challenges businesses face in navigating consumer data, Klaviyo aims to streamline and cleanse this data through its technology and user-friendly interface. The platform allows businesses to create unified customer profiles, launch targeted marketing campaigns, and avoid the complexities of pre-configuring data or managing complicated integrations. The IPO filing highlights Klaviyo’s success in the first half of 2021, reporting net income of $15.2 million and revenue of $320.7 million—a significant increase compared to the same period last year.
While Klaviyo faces competition from MailChimp, Braze, Adobe, and Salesforce, its IPO filing acknowledges the potential for increased competition and the advantages that its competitors may possess due to deeper financial and technical resources. Klaviyo’s average customer generates around $5,000 while Braze, with fewer but wealthier customers, has an average of $200,000 per customer. However, Klaviyo aims to grow its technology and customer base to attract larger clients and compete against Braze on a more comprehensive level.
Furthermore, Klaviyo finds significant overlap with Shopify, as the platform partners with various data sources like e-commerce platforms. Klaviyo has become the recommended platform for all Shopify Plus merchants, and the two companies have a strategic partnership. Shopify Strategic Holdings has also invested approximately $100 million in Klaviyo, demonstrating a strong relationship between the two companies.
In summary, Klaviyo’s IPO filing comes at a critical time in the digital marketing landscape, as businesses seek solutions to optimize consumer data utilization. By focusing on data cleanliness, customer profile unification, and personalized marketing campaigns, Klaviyo aims to position itself as a leading player in the industry and cater to businesses of varying sizes and requirements.