Twitter is grabbing a lot of headlines with its plans for an initial public offering, and rightfully so with a massive user base of 215 million monthly users. But users are just one way to measure a business.
One of the first things to look for in a company on the brink of a public offering is revenues, and in that category fast-growing Zulily, which earlier today filed to raise up to $100 million in an IPO, is ahead of Twitter. We compared the revenues of four tech companies that either recently completed IPOs, or just filed to go public.
As you’ll see in the chart below, Zulily is on a serious growth spurt with revenues jumping 1,709 percent in the three-year period from 2010 to 2012. Twitter, however, is catching up to the lesser known daily deals site, and in fact had a faster growth rate between 2011 and 2012. Twitter grew at 198 percent during that period, compared to Zulily’s growth rate of 132 percent.
But Zulily is still bigger than Twitter in raw revenues, which is amazing given its low profile. (Outside of moms who peruse its daily email blast for deals on toys, clothes and other baby accessories).
For the first six months of 2013 (data not included in the chart above) Zulily had revenue of $272 million. That compared to Twitter’s six-month haul of $253 million.
It’s also worth noting that Zulily, with 886 employees, turned a profit during the first six months of the year, while Twitter, with 2,000 employees, lost $69 million. Interestingly, Zulily is also two years younger than Twitter. Zulily was founded in 2009 by former Blue Nile execs Mark Vadon and Darrell Cavens.
Both Twitter and Zulily are backed by Andreessen Horowitz, but they are certainly very different in makeup. Which of these companies do you think makes the better investment?
And just for fun, here’s a look at how Zulily compares to two other major daily deal sites, Groupon and LivingSocial.