Three months ago Slide founder Max Levchin assured us that, despite rumors, he wasn’t raising money, and hadn’t even updated his pitch deck. He sure got his act in gear in a hurry, it seems. Today Business Week and The NY Times are reporting that Slide has raised $50 million at a valuation north of half a billion.
Three months ago when he officially wasn’t pitching a new round, the rumors were that he was looking for at least a $200 million valuation. It sounds like he got the bidding war he was looking for. This was their fourth round of funding.
As often happens in big later stage rounds, the well known Silicon Valley venture firms sat the deal out. Investors in this round include Fidelity Investments and T. Rowe Price.
Business Week’s Sarah Lacy seems a little stuck when justifying the valuation – “But let’s get back to the question of whether Slide is worth $550 million. At this second, the answer has to be no, by any normal valuation math. But if Levchin’s plans succeed, Slide will be worth far more.” What isn’t clear to me is exactly what Levchin’s plan for success entails. Currently they’re a widget company with a ton of users (150 million or so worldwide). They’re transitioning and starting to focus on ad selling. But without more details…