Podium, an enterprise software startup, is working with investment bank Houlihan Lokey to raise a large new round of funding, Term Sheet has learned. The company seeks around $20 million to $25 million at a pre-money valuation of around $100 million. The company declined to comment.
Outside of participating in Y Combinator’s winter 2016 batch, the Utah-based startup has kept a low profile in Silicon Valley. For the last several months, Podium has made the rounds on Sand Hill road in what venture investors describe as an “unconventional” fundraise. The company asked firms to submit a formal “indication of interest” (IOI) before beginning due diligence, and used an online data room. One investor described it as more akin to a private equity deal or M&A auction than venture fundraising, which tends to be less formal. Podium recently narrowed down its fundraising process and will finalize the deal soon.
Podium’s software allows businesses to collect and manage online reviews. Founded in 2014, it has only raised a small amount of seed funding from Peak Ventures of Provo, Utah, and it boasts 30,000 customers. Now the company’s annual recurring revenue (ARR) is between $10 million and $15 million, a source familiar with the situation said.
Investors note the company’s revenue has “velocity,” meaning it is growing quickly, especially in the automotive market. One of its key features allows customers to text customers after they leave a store or dealership. Podium is different from Podium Data, a Boston-area startup.