One year to the day of the troubled Facebook IPO, the climate for tech IPOs in the public markets is significantly less stormy, especially for companies in the enterprise space. Today, not one but two, Tableau Software and Marketo, are debuting on New York stock exchanges. Business intelligence provider Tableau Software, trading as “DATA”, is one of the more highly anticipated tech IPOs of the year, and so far it has not disappointed. It priced its IPO at $31 per share, and it has popped 58% and is at nearly $49/share in early trading on the NYSE.
Meanwhile, Marketo, a cloud-based marketing services company, priced its IPO at $13 per share. It will be trading as MKTO on the NASDAQ exchange,
but has yet to trade at the time of writing. It went up by more than 50% in early activity and then continued to creep up: it’s now 68% above the IPO pricing and trading at $21.48. (We’ll keep updating these numbers for both stocks.)
Taken together, the two are strong endorsements for the market for enterprise services and some of the still-emerging trends within it.
Tableau Software, as its stock ticker unsubtly hints, is aimed more at a big-data play, offering visualization and analytics that it says are easy enough for non-technical people to use. Up to now, it still offers the majority of its services as downloadable, on-premises software rather than as cloud-based apps.
Marketo is positioned as a software-as-a-service, and like a Salesforce for the marketing department, offers its various services — inbound marketing, lead management, social marketing, event management, instant CRM integration, sales dashboards, and marketing ROI reporting and analytics — all in a one-stop-in-the-cloud-shop.
Tableau Software raised some $254.2 million at the $31/share price, after raising that IPO from an initial range of $23-26; this gives it a valuation of $2 billion. Marketo, meanwhile, is raising just under $85 million at a $550 million valuation.
(Incidentally, Facebook’s shares have lost some 30% of their value in the last year, and are at around $26.45/share at the moment.)
How does Tableau’s IPO compare to other high-profile enterprise listings? The money raised is just shy of the $260 million that enterprise security company Palo Alto Networks raised in July 2012. It is still a ways behind HR specialist Workday’s IPO in October 2012, which raised $637 million.
Tableau Software’s multi-billion IPO sets the stage for other multi-billion tech IPOs from the likes of Box and Twitter. Tableau had raised less than $40 million prior to this from NEA and Meritech (Crunchbase puts the total at only $15 million, but Geekwire says that NEA’s total investment in the company has been $29 million).
In contrast, Marketo has raised $108 million in six rounds, from investors that include Institutional Venture Partners, InterWest Partners, Mayfield Fund, Storm Ventures and Battery Ventures.
Tripshare, an iPad application for travel planning, is joining a crowded space. But its CEO knows a little something about the industry – Bob Dana was the former employee No. 1 and first CFO of Virgin America. He once wrote the business plan and feasibility study for Sir Richard Branson in 2003. And now he’s doing a travel startup.
Dana tells us the inspiration for Tripshare was based on a personal experience he had years ago. As CFO, he spent 10 hours on a plane each week flying back and forth from New York to California. In 2006, Dana was trying to convince his family to come out to California for a vacation, so he put together a proposed itinerary to help sell the idea.
“I ended up preparing this 10-page Word document that included text and photos I cut and pasted from various websites. It was intended to be persuasive in nature, and collaborative, too,” he explains. “I thought afterwards, that collaborative travel planning was something that was rather difficult to do.”
But not only was it difficult to plan, it was also hard to move from the point of inspiration and discovery to actually booking the trip. This idea later formed the basis for Tripshare, which he founded two years ago.
The app was originally built in conjunction with then co-founder and CTO Ken Goto, a former director of engineering at Apple. Goto has since moved on but his ex-Apple development team, including acting CTO Eric Kapke, now continues the work.
The app itself has actually been live in the iTunes App Store as unpublicized beta since August 2012. However, though that app was functionally similar, it drew some criticisms from early users because of its user interface. Today’s version is an overhaul and much improved.
Still, despite having done no publicity or marketing, Tripshare has been downloaded nearly 20,000 times while still a work in progress. In other words, today’s release is technically a version 2.0, but for all intents and purposes, this is the big debut.
Designed for those planning vacations or other complex trips with multiple destinations or activities, Tripshare allows you to browse, collect and share information with others before booking. Using the iPad’s big screen, you can flip through photos of destinations and lodgings, create itineraries and discover flights, hotels, restaurants, activities and more.
Today, the app allows you to explore more than 20,000 cities worldwide, plus 500,000+ lodging options, thousands of flights, and more than 200,000 tours, activities and restaurants.
After creating a sample itinerary, you can then share it to other Tripshare iPad users, or via email, Facebook, and Twitter. For those not using the iPad application, the shared trip displays in the web browser. These trips can include all the details, too – photos, descriptions, reviews and prices – so your family and/or friends won’t have to redo the work on their end before giving you their feedback. Pricing and availability also update in real time, something another new planning app, Pintrips, offers as well, but on the web.
Users can also communicate with the trip organizer within the application using an IM-like chatting function, or leave suggestions if the trip’s planner is offline.
While there are quite a few trip planning applications and services on the market (and that’s an understatement ) what makes Tripshare stand out is not the uniqueness of the idea, but the overall package. The app’s user interface is easy to use, which is critical when planning complicated trips where you’re trying to pack in a lot of activities and outings.
At first glance, Tripshare seems inspired by Khosla-backed social travel app Jetpac, which uses smart technology to index photos from social networks, allowing you to see where friends have traveled in order to find inspiration for trip-planning purposes. It has the same general layout, and it shares some common features, such as the idea of making a list of places you want to go.
But Tripshare’s photos don’t come from Facebook. They’re high-resolution images from its travel partners, including HomeAway, Fly.com, the Expedia Affiliate Network, and Viator.com. Plus, the overall vision for the application is not one of just inspiration, but converting that inspiration into an actionable itinerary by actually allowing you to book the trip, including the flights, hotels, outings and more, directly in the app.
Dana says the company plans to integrate content from more travel aggregators and services into the app in time, including things like vacation rentals from Flipkey, car rentals, restaurant reservations, cruises, safaris, and even travel insurance. By year end, the plan is to have many of these live, as well as an iPhone-optimized application. Afterwards, the goal will be to further build up the social community.
Tripshare is backed by $1.47 million in angel funding; some of that is founder money, and the other part comes mainly from the New York angels community, including David S. Rose.
The app itself is free to users, as it will earn revenue via a percentage of the bookings users make. Tripshare is live here on iTunes.
Continue reading here: Social Trip Planning App Tripshare Converts Travel Inspiration To Bookings
Google is expanding its Google Offers service, which reminds users via a mobile app or email whenever there’s a limited-time deal at a nearby business, so that users can now see, save and share promotions from within their Google+ stream.
Only a select number of brands and companies will be able to share Google Offers through their respective Google+ accounts to begin with. NOOK, Hello Kitty, Art.com and Adafruit Industries have already started sharing exclusive deals through the service, although there could be more waiting in the wings.
Restaurant-rating group Zagat is also on the list of early adopters, which is notable given that Google recently unveiled support for Zagat listings and ratings throughout its refreshed Google Maps service.
“You can save these offers directly from the post,” Dennis Troper, Product Management Director of Google+ said. “Once saved, you can use the Google Offers app or simply follow the email confirmation on how to easily redeem the offer online or in-store.”
Google needs to give potential users as many reasons as possible to log-in and explore the Google+ social network on a regular basis. The company recently unveiled new photo features at its I/O developer conference, including automatic enhancements and album selections, to entice users back to the service.
The company is pitching Google+ today, however, as a counterpoint to Twitter, Foursquare and numerous daily deals sites whereby users can follow brands and discover deals about their latest products or services.
Businesses have been keen to sign-up to Google+, but the perceived engagement with users is much lower than that of Facebook or Twitter. That could be due to the overall userbase of each social network, but regardless, the addition of Google Offers should give companies, brands and users another reason to keep one eye on their stream.
Google Offers was launched in May 2011 and is available as a dedicated app for both Android and iOS devices. It shares many of the same traits being adopted by Foursquare at the moment, whereby users are shown timely offers based on their location, preferences and order history.
Neither company has managed to amass the sheer number of users needed to make the concept a well-known and instinctive part of people’s daily routine, but Google arguably has the infrastructure and track record to get there first. Is this an indicator that Google will be giving Google Offers some renewed focus and attention moving forward? We’ll have to wait and see.
Image Credit: KIMIHIRO HOSHINO for AFP / Getty Images
Microsoft on Friday announced it has once again expanded Bing’s Facebook integration. Not only can you see relevant Facebook posts in the search engine’s social sidebar, but you can now comment on them and Like them as well.
Bing has included Likes, photos, and profile information from Facebook for a while in its social sidebar. At the start of the year, Microsoft added status updates, shared links, and comments for more context. Now it’s letting you interact with said content, all without leaving the Bing search page.
Here’s the commenting feature in action:
Nektarios Ioannides, Bing’s Program Manager, offers an example to explain how this could potentially improve your search experience:
Let’s say I’m searching for Beyoncé tickets because I know she is coming to town soon. I can see that my friend has recently posted that she has an extra ticket to the show. Now without leaving the Bing results page, I comment directly to her post letting her know that I’d love to join her for the concert. I’ve gone from simply browsing to attending a concert in just a few easy steps – all thanks to Bing.
All of this will only work if you connect your Facebook account to Bing. Microsoft has previously promised to “honor all of your existing Facebook privacy settings, nothing is shared automatically, you only see what your friends give you permission to see (though their Facebook settings) so you only share what you want to share.”
Unfortunately, Microsoft hasn’t shared data in regards to how many Bing users have actually gone and connected their Facebook account to Bing. Either Microsoft is extremely confident that its social search strategy will pay off, or users are actually taking advantage and the company is finding it worth the engineering resources to keep adding more and more Facebook features to Bing. Time will tell.
Top Image credit: Leszek Nowak
Here is the original post: Microsoft’s Bing adds Facebook commenting and Like actions to its social sidebar
Groupon just reported its earnings for its first financial quarter of 2013. The company, which is still looking for a new CEO after the ouster of Andrew Mason in February, posted a $0.01 loss per share but says its non-GAAP EPS, excluding stock-based compensations, was $0.03. Its revenue was significantly higher than expected with $601.4 million in sales, compared to $0.02 earnings per share (EPS) on $559.3 million of revenue in the year-ago quarter.
Wall Street clearly likes these numbers. The stock is already up over 11 percent and currently trading around $6.23.
The expectation among financial analysts was that the company would report a year-over-year sales growth of 5.3 percent and an EPS of $0.03 on revenue of $588.92 million for this quarter (with a very optimistic high estimate of $618.5).
Last quarter, Groupon reported $638.8 million revenue, buoyed by a strong holiday season, but the company still posted an operating loss of $19.9 million and a loss per share of $0.12.
“We are encouraged by our results, as our local revenues accelerated and our margins improved over the prior quarter,” said Eric Lefkofsky, Chairman and co-CEO of Groupon. “We had record mobile performance as 45 percent of our North American transactions came from mobile in March, and more than 7 million people downloaded our apps in the quarter.”
One of the main indicators for Groupon’s health has long been gross billings – a reflection of how much money the company has collected from its customers for Groupons it has sold. Last quarter, gross billings increased 24 percent to $1.52 billion. Gross billing for this quarter was $1.41 billion, and the company says it has $1.2 billion in cash and cash equivalents.
In the last quarter, Groupon also reported that it had 41 million active customers, up 22 percent quarter-over-quarter and that it was handling about 37,000 active deals at any given time. In the last quarter, Groupon says the number of active customers grew to 41.7 million – a 13 percent year-over-year growth but just a minor increase from the last quarter.
Groupon has obviously been through a somewhat tumultuous time recently. The company’s ouster of CEO Andrew Mason after a number of disappointing quarters, however, seems to have brought some stability back to the company. Its share price remains low, though it’s up from its all-time low of $2.60. Currently, the stock is trading at around $5.60.
After Mason’s exit, Lefkofsky and vice chairman Ted Loensis were appointed to the company’s newly created Office of the Chief Executive as interim CEOs. The company has yet to announce a permanent replacement for Mason.
From the release:
First Quarter Operating Highlights
- Global units: Consolidated units, defined as vouchers and products ordered before cancellations and refunds, increased 4% year-over-year to 45 million. North America units increased 37%, and International units decreased 18%.
- Active deals: As of March 31, 2013, the number of active deals in North America increased to nearly 40,000, compared with nearly 37,000 at the end of the fourth quarter 2012.
- Active customers: Active customers, or customers that have purchased a Groupon within the last twelve months, grew 13% year-over-year, to 41.7 million as of March 31, 2013, comprising 18.2 million in North America, and 23.5 million in International.
- Customer spend: Trailing twelve month billings per average active customer decreased to $138 from $144 in the fourth quarter 2012, related primarily to seasonal strength in the fourth quarter holiday period.
- Mobile: In March 2013, 45% of North American transactions were completed on mobile devices, compared with nearly 30% in March 2012. In the first quarter 2013, more than 7 million people downloaded Groupon mobile apps worldwide.
- Marketplace: The rollout of Groupon’s marketplace (”Pull”) continued to gain momentum, as email accounted for less than 45% of North American transactions in the first quarter 2013.
Here is the original post: Groupon’s Q1 Results: Beats With $601.4 Million In Revenue, Stock Up 11% In After-Hours Trading