Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg
Venture Capital

Tech Startups Come Up With Some Creative Definitions for ‘Profitable’

Facing a tougher fundraising environment, on-demand companies are touting financial metrics to show the health of their businesses—using whichever definition looks rosiest.

Last September, SpoonRocket was running out of money. Founders of the Berkeley, Calif., meal-delivery company had initially sold investors on aggressive expansion plans and the promises of a high-growth business. By the time it completed a planned rollout to San Diego and Seattle early last year, the funding environment had changed. Venture capitalists had begun to prioritize profit over growth.

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