Path seems to be growing at a substantial rate, with the private social network hitting 12 million users sometime this past month and new feature releases happening quickly on the mobile app. While it has yet to take off as other networks have in the past, the steady growth means Path can keep operating and probably find enough venture capital to stay in business.
This round may be Path’s largest, with an apparent $1 billion valuation for the next round of funding. The company has had a good growth this last year, with the last round of funding putting at $250,000 valuation on Path. $1 billion would put the company in the boat with other billion dollar companies, like Waze, Tumblr and Instagram when they were all acquired by Google, Yahoo and Facebook, respectively.
Path’s Growing Interest
Path has had a steady growth, not something Facebook or Twitter had when they flew above 100 million users quite rapidly. However, the company has been placed in an already packed arena, so trying to make a scene quickly is a hard thing to do when Path has the same features as many other social networks with highly dedicated user bases.
The company has put a lot of effort into the mobile app though and Dave Morin has always pushed for better design and functionality, until it is second to none. We have seen some innovation from the startup, who now employ 25 staff members and are still growing.
While estimations are never spot on, analysts have pegged Path’s future as bright, in this year alone the member base is meant to hit 20 million, with a further 30 million joining the network before the end of 2014. With more iOS and Android devices and Path’s move to Windows Phone 8 and BB10, we may see this growth expand.
There have been rumours floating around that Path could be wanting out on the whole private company deal, instead getting acquired for a reasonable amount and then still working as an entity inside another large technology company. We know a few possible companies that would want a talented pool of developers and a flourishing if somewhat controversial social network.
The first would be Apple, they are a company with 500 million user accounts and yet the users have no way to identify themselves. Path would be a great way to make sure every user of iTunes and iOS has a profile, where they can share the music, apps, books and other media they consume. Path is a private social network as well, with 150 friend limit, this could work to Apple’s ethos about social connection.
Obviously Yahoo, who are on a huge acquisition spree, would probably be up for buying Path. The deal would cost them as much as Tumblr did, but it would bring yet another clever mobile app to the Yahoo team. What people don’t understand about the new moves by Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer is they are future-proofing, they are making sure no matter how much Yahoo loses its brand identity it will be a driving force in the coming decade.
Path could be valued at $1 billion as Tumblr, Instagram and Waze were, but we believe Dave Morin thinks more of the company. He denied a $100,000 offering from Google in 2011 and we do not believe he will settle for something small. Four years have been put into Path and we are just starting to see big success, so this may not be the time for Morin to close shop.