CallidusCloud’s accretive acquisitions

Contact: Brenon Daly

With the $4m purchase of assets from ViewCentral, CallidusCloud has added on to one of its first add-on businesses. The company, which started life 20 years ago selling sales compensation management software, has used a bakers’ dozen deals since 2010 to expand its portfolio into software for employee hiring, marketing automation and on-the-job training. ViewCentral brings billing and payment technology to CallidusCloud’s learning management offering, a product that has its roots in the mid-2011 acquisition of Litmos.

By themselves, the small transactions, which have cost the company an average of just $5m a pop, aren’t all that significant. But collectively, they have expanded the market for CallidusCloud and given it the opportunity to increase high-margin revenue by selling additional products. (In 2015, the company said it did more than 80 multi-product deals.) CallidusCloud’s strategy of inorganic growth also stands in sharp contrast to rival Xactly, which has stayed out of the M&A market as it has maintained its focus on selling its core sales compensation management offering. (See our recent report on Xactly’s strategy and market position.)

Obviously, the M&A activity at the two companies isn’t the sole difference between CallidusCloud and Xactly, any more than it fully accounts for the relative valuation discrepancy between them. Still, it is worth considering how the acquisition-based portfolio expansion has paid off for CallidusCloud, at least in its standing on Wall Street. CallidusCloud currently garners twice the valuation of its smaller rival. (CallidusCloud trades at about $930m, or 4.4x times 2016 projected sales of $212m, compared with Xactly, which trades at $215m, or 2.3x times this year’s projected sales of $95m.) Further, since it came public last June, Xactly has shed about one-fifth of its value, while CallidusCloud shares are slightly in the green over that period.

For more real-time information on tech M&A, follow us on Twitter @451TechMnA.