Collibra raises $250 million, the largest funding round of the year. That makes the Belgian big data company worth $5.25 billion – five times the Unicorn. “We are almost ready to go public,” says CEO Felix van de Miele.
What are you going to spend on that extra 250 million?
Felix van de Miele: “We don’t put together that money to invest in one specific goal. We want to continue to grow aggressively, as we’ve done for the past five years. We do it consciously without net profit, as our investors expect, and in three areas: data inventory, where it started Everything, quality control, privacy and security.
“We are seeing companies that are shifting their data en masse to servers in the cloud. We want to make sure that ‘data intelligence’ is going to be an essential part of this. But currently we have even from our previous round ($112 million, ed.You haven’t spent a single dollar yet.
Including the current round, you are on a mountain of cash worth 360 million. Is it a good idea to pick it up just because you can?
Van de Miele: “I’ve always been on the principle that you should raise money when you don’t need it. We want a strong balance sheet, so that we don’t rely on an investment round when the climate is less good. Moreover, most of this money will go to wages, which is 80 percent From our cost base We are close to 1,000 people By the end of next year there will be 1,600 We employ 40-50 people per month: mainly IT developers and salespeople, but we also support profiles: Legal, Financial, HR We should be able to maintain that in the coming years.
You want to get sales of up to a billion dollars. Where is Culebra now?
Van de Miele: I prefer not to set a time for that. We’re on our way there, and that’s more important than the amount itself. In 2019, we reached the €100 million mark. This was the first chapter in the life of our company. Now that we’ve expanded our product range, including data quality, security, and privacy, we’re starting a second chapter.
The additional capital will mainly go to wages, which make up 80 percent of our costs. We are nearly 1000 people. By the end of next year there will be 1,600.
In 2019, Collibra became the first Belgian unicorn, a private company worth over $1 billion. Since then, the capital has been raised and the valuation has doubled year by year. Will the company be worth $10 billion next year after the $500 million round?
Van de Miele: “I don’t suppose, it’s definitely not the plan. Our finances are good. But it can always be, depending on what the markets are doing. There was already an oversupply of capital in this round. This allowed us to be They are selective in what we’ve admitted to contributors: the long-term parties, who are also open to the prospect of eventually bringing them up publicly with them.
With current high valuations in mind, has an IPO actually been considered for this round?
Van de Miele: Not yet. We believe we can build an independent company. At some point, we’ll be so big that an IPO is the logical step. We are already close to that size. An IPO is not an end in itself, and there is no pressure from shareholders. We must be fully prepared first.
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