(Bloomberg) -- Farallon Capital Management led a funding round for human resources company HiBob at a valuation of $2.66 billion — compared with the $2.45 billion the company was priced at last year, according to people familiar with the matter.
As part of the Series D deal, Farallon invested $100 million, while Alpha Wave Global and existing investors kicked in an additional $50 million, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.
It’s been a difficult year for startups as rising rates left many struggling with cash flows, prompting a flurry of so-called “down rounds,” where a company’s value falls — something many founders try to avoid at all costs. Even when companies manage to secure up rounds, investors may not see the big paper gains they once did.
Read More: Down-Round Pain Forces Startups to Get Creative in Hunt for Cash
While HiBob’s valuation ticked upward in the deal, it was unclear if investors’ price per share changed from the last funding round, or if the financing included so-called sweetened terms such as preferential liquidation rights. Farallon and HiBob declined to comment on these details. The people familiar with the matter said that all capital invested in the deal is primary — meaning the cash isn’t buying out founders or existing investors.
Farallon has $39 billion of assets and commitments, and about a quarter of that has been put to work in private deals. Like many of its peers, Farallon has slowed its venture investing as startup markets have stumbled. Apart from HiBob, the firm has only backed two other startups this year, compared with five last year and 18 in 2021 — its most active year since at least 2014, according to PitchBook.
Founded in 2015, HiBob and its software platform help companies with human resources functions, from onboarding to managing compensation. The company plans to use the new cash to help attract larger accounts, expand into new geographies, accelerate partnerships and invest in technology such as artificial intelligence, co-founder Ronni Zehavi said in an interview.
“You raise capital when you can, not when you need,” he said, adding that HiBob will be well positioned when the market recovers. “By then, companies will have to think about business growth and hiring or retaining talent, and so they will need to invest in that. When the wind comes, it will be on steroids.”
--With assistance from Sarah McBride and Katie Roof.
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