Entrepreneurial

Employee rewards site raises $24 million from Sequoia Capital

Prominent Silicon Valley venture capital firm Sequoia Capital is wading into the near $50-billion employee rewards market with its $24.5 million Series C round of financing of online San Francisco-based company Achievers.

The announcement on Wednesday by the venture capital heavyweight signals a heightened interest in the space that Sequoia partner Alfred Lin said is “highly fragmented” and lacks a dominant player.

“We want to be an investor in the most interesting companies of tomorrow and we felt like this would be a company for the ages,” said Lin, who will take a seat on Achievers’ board of directors. Sequoia has had a long history of backing technology companies such as Apple, Oracle, Cisco, Google and YouTube.

The round also included previous investors in Boston-based GrandBanks Capital and Toronto, Canada-based firms JLA Ventures and the Ontario Venture Capital Fund.

Achievers has now raised $38 million since CEO Razor Suleman founded the company in 2002 in Toronto. Formerly named I Love Rewards, the company, which has 150 employees, has since expanded to Boston and San Francisco and Suleman said the latest funding will be put toward hiring in all three markets and extensive marketing of the product.

Is Airbnb growing too fast?

– Connie Loizos is a contributor to PE Hub, a Thomson Reuters publication. This story originally appeared here. The views expressed are her own. –

Airbnb is on a tear. Three years after the San Francisco-based company began inviting real people to list for rent their homes and apartments, castles and houseboats, users have booked 1.9 million nights in more than 184 countries; bookings are growing an astonishing 40 percent month over month; and roughly 1,000 new properties are entered into its system each day.

The company is growing so fast, in fact, that it’s reportedly raising $100 million at a whopping $1 billion valuation — a mighty addition to the $8 million in capital it has previously raised from Sequoia Capital, Greylock Partners, and numerous individuals.

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