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Bluevine CEO: IPO filing in 18 to 24 months

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Aug 16, 2023
Open sign on $100 bill.

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Small-business-banking startup Bluevine is aiming to file for an IPO in the next 18 to 24 months, CEO Eyal Lifshitz tells Axios exclusively.

Why it matters: The IPO market has started to reopen, and some fintechs — one of the hardest hit segments on the stock market — are working up the courage to cautiously peer back in.

Context: Stock-trading startup DriveWealth is also weighing an IPO listing in the same time frame.

Be smart: These companies aren't rushing their IPOs, but it's clear that some are feeling the pressure to give hope to employees for liquidity and investors for returns.

Catch up quick: Founded a decade ago, BlueVine boomed during the pandemic as small businesses flocked to fintechs to access the government's paycheck protection program loans.

  • It continued to gather users through 2022, and now expects to hit $200 million in revenue for 2023 — which would represent 80% growth compared to the same period a year earlier.
  • Bluevine has expanded its revenue streams from lending since its founding, but is not yet profitable. Now about 70% of its revenue stems from lending and credit, while the rest stems from a mix of interchange, payment fees, and interest from deposits.
  • "When you look at our scale and the pace of growth, and as we approach going public, I think we would be in a position where we could become profitable,' Lifshitz says of his IPO timeline.

Of note: SMBs have been a historically difficult segment to scale off of, with corporate card startup Brex recently exiting the space in favor of enterprise clients.

  • Liftshitz sees these retreats as an opportunity for Bluevine to expand and become a onestop banking shop. It recently launched accounts payable and plans to expand with treasury management options later this year.

Yes, but: Bluevine's rapid disbursement of PPP loans have not come without controversy. A December congressional report accused fintech players —including Kabbage and Bluevine — of inadequate fraud controls and reporting standards during the process.

  • The congressional committee said that Bluevine adapted to fraud threats better than its peers, but still fell behind on reporting fraud to law enforcement.

Background: Bluevine last raised $102.5 million in Series F funding in 2019 led by ION Crossover Partners. Other investors included Lightspeed Venture Partners, Menlo Ventures, 83North, SVB Capital, Nationwide, Citi Ventures, and M12.

  • The company if not disclose its valuation, though Lifshitz confirms the company was not a unicorn.
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