Mixpanel topped CNN's annual list of startups to bet on in 2015, and investors have agreed with that evaluation for about five years. The startup has received a total of $77 million in investments over the course of four rounds and five years. The latest round of investing was a Series B round in December 2014, which landed the startup $65 million of its total–all from a single investor. At the time, Mixpanel cofounder Suhail Doshi stated the startup was valued at $865 million–a huge step up from its Y Combinator roots in 2009.
So, what launched Mixpanel to the top of the hot software list in half a decade? The product, which is a serious analytics program, had a lot to do with the company's success. In fact, the program meets consumer needs so well that all the startups seem to be using it. According to a report in 2012, Andreessen Horowitz found that Mixpanel was a favorite among growing companies, which is why it invested in one of the first rounds. The firm just happened to be the investor that returned two years later for the impressive Series B funding mentioned above.
Doshi credits some of Mixpanel's success with an intelligent early move by the company. While Mixpanel analytics do work on websites, the startup originally concentrated on mobile. Doshi said it was a big bet, but with numerous bigger analytic players slow to respond to growing needs for mobile data, Mixpanel's decision positioned it to become what Doshi calls the "king of mobile analytics." According to numerous industry reporters, it's not posturing or marketing language on Doshi's part–despite being a young company with little more than 100 employees, Mixpanel is the name that comes up most when discussing mobile analytics.
Timing, then, was on Mixpanel's side. The startup also worked from the bottom up within the industry. The majority of the company's clients were startups, too, which made for a lot of turnover, but allowed Mixpanel to build quickly on previous successes and scale to larger clients over time.
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