Tableau tees up an IPO

Contact: Brenon Daly

After a pair of tech companies publicly announced their intent to hit the market late last week, we understand that a high-profile private company is coming up right behind them. Tableau Software is rumored to have quietly filed its IPO paperwork under the JOBS Act, according to a number of sources. It’s the first step toward an offering that could value the data-visualization company in the neighborhood of $2bn.

Founded a decade ago, Tableau has grown quickly and steadily as customers snap up its software that helps makes sense of the ever-increasing levels of data. According to our understanding, Tableau was running at less than $10m in 2007, but finished last year at about $110m in sales. The company, which has raised only $15m in venture backing, has also been generating cash in recent years even as it scales its business.

In addition to its stunning growth, Tableau has a number of other characteristics that should play well on Wall Street. It has a larger rival, QlikTech, that enjoys a healthy valuation of 6x trailing sales, even as it grows roughly 20%, or about one-quarter the rate of Tableau. (QlikTech recently forecasted sales for 2013 of roughly $470m, nearly three times Tableau’s expected sales this year.) Further, Tableau is likely to have broad support in the investor community thanks to its long list of rumored underwriters: Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Securities, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse, among other banks.

By filing under the recently passed JOBS Act, Tableau can put in a prospectus without publicly revealing it has done so. Assuming the offering goes according to plan, Tableau would likely announce the filing in the next few months and then go on its roadshow. We expect the company to be well received in that process, and it is likely to join the richly valued quartet of enterprise vendors that went public in 2012: Workday, ServiceNow, Palo Alto Networks and Splunk. The cheapest of those four companies trades at 13x trailing sales.

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2 thoughts on “Tableau tees up an IPO

    1. Bill passed last year: Jumpstart Our Business Startups. Eased some regulations for businesses, including allowing companies to file S1 confidentially (as is case here).

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