Tableau Software, a visual business intelligence software provider, is planning to launch an initial public offering (IPO) within the next nine months, according to a report from the Bloomberg news agency.
The report cites Scott Sandell, an investor and board member, as saying that the company is about to appoint financial advisors for the IPO and may go public within the next four months.
UPDATE: In a interview with Information Age, Tableau CEO Christian Chabot would not comment on the company’s short-term plan. He said, though, that "we have made no secret of our plans to become a big, publicly traded software company".
Chabot reiterated that Tableau expects to earn revenues of over $100 million this year, up from around $62 million last year.
He said that in the event of an IPO, Tableau would use the capital to expand outside the US and UK, its two main markets today, and would invest in research and development. "We are working against a long-term product investment strategy," he said.
In response to the suggestion that Tableau could instead be acquired by a larger vendor, Chabot said "the same statement was made about Google, VMware, Adobe and Salesforce.com".
Tableau’s business intelligence software, which allows users to investigate data using a grapical interface, is based on technology devised by Stanford Univeristy PhD student Chris Stolte and his supervisor Pat Hanrahan. Hanrahan had previously co-founded 3D animation giant Pixar, having developed its Renderman animation software.
It is one of a crop of business intelligence providers that represent what analyst and consultant Howard Dresner has termed "the new BI". ‘New BI’ products have technological characteristics including cloud hosting, mobile access, visual interfaces and collaborative functionality, and they are often procured by business units.
Chabot said that while originally, the company’s software was typically bought by business units, Tableau procurements are now equally likely to be lead by IT.
A comprable provider in terms of market positioning is QlikTech, which sells the QlikView business intelligence system. In its most recent financial quarter, QlikTech missed revenue expectations, despite growing sales 14% year-on-year to $86 million.
At the time, an analyst from investment firm FBN Securities wrote that "we are concerned that [QlikTech] is facing stronger competition from Tableau […] Tableau has greater focus (and momentum) in the Americas".