In startup land, it’s easy to get distracted by the brightest lights. Some companies excel, earning the business equivalent of a halo, casting their own luminance. And then, of course, there are the implosions and crashes that kick off waves of photons that inevitably blanket our pages.
During the pandemic, companies like Zoom and Peloton earned (temporary) radiance. More recently, we’ve been captivated by the flashing warning lights coming from companies like Better.com, Fast and Bolt. We sometimes fail to balance our coverage of the dazzling with the less sexy but still noteworthy startup triumphs and tragedies.
The Exchange explores startups, markets and money.
Today, we’ll attempt a corrective. On the other end of the newsiness spectrum are companies that grow consistently, don’t burn too much money — and therefore don’t raise too often — and stay busy doing things that don’t demand headlines.
Last year, these companies were forgotten as young startups with even flimsy product-market fit were able to raise staggering sums of capital while interest rates enjoyed their last few quarters near zero.
Things have changed. We’ve seen former darlings go through the wringer, the downfall of much of the SPAC class and some whole-cloth startup deaths.
But some private technology companies in less flashy markets didn’t fall prey to the 2021 hype cycle. Those companies are, in some cases, chugging along toward an IPO the moment the window opens again. And they haven’t gotten too much credit for their work.
Call it the revenge of the quiet companies.
Give us an example, yeah?
But of course. Back in the days of Box versus Dropbox, Egnyte competed along similar lines. Since then, Egnyte, much like Box and Dropbox, has worked to expand its product offering away from the cloud storage market to the point that it’s actually a bit hard to recall what it did to begin with.