Microsoft PowerPoint Rival Prezi Raises $57 Million

Prezi Inc., which makes an Internet-based presentation application, raised $57 million to expand its global efforts to provide an alternative to Microsoft Corp.’s PowerPoint software.

Private equity firm Spectrum Equity led the financing with venture capital firm Accel Partners also participating, adding to the $15.5 million raised in two earlier rounds, Prezi Chief Executive Officer Peter Arvai said in an interview. The San Francisco-based company is now valued at roughly $300 million, said a person with knowledge of the situation.

Arvai declined to comment on the valuation and said “it was a significant up round.”

The CEO said that more than 50 million people have used Prezi’s software, which lets consumers create presentations on a single white space and then zoom in to highlight the content they wish to talk about, rather than toggling through a series of slides as with PowerPoint.

Competitors include startups such as Haiku Deck and PowToon, with Microsoft dominating the market. The world’s largest software company last month announced a cloud-based version of PowerPoint, called Sway, which has some Prezi-like features.

Prezi’s software is free for those willing to post their presentations in the company’s library, so other users can use them as templates for their own presentations. Customers that want to keep their presentations private pay $59 a year, or $159 or more if they want to download the software onto their own device so they can work when offline or increase storage.

Arvai declined to disclose the company’s revenue or the percentage of users who pay for the software. Over time, the company hopes to find a way to make money off the 160 million presentations in its library, he said. Arvai said Prezi has 250 employees.

“As long as we’re the company that can help the best marketers tell the best stories, we can be a disruptive force in the productivity market,” he said.