Government // Enterprise Architecture
Commentary
7/16/2010
03:39 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
Commentary
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Global CIO: Who Is The Tech Sector's #1 Acquisition Target?

This little-known BI company had 2009 revenue of $157M plus blue-chip corporate customers and proven success on the iPhone and other mobile devices.

I'm a business-intelligence software vendor whose annual revenue grew from $80.6 million in 2007 to $118.3 million in 2008 to $157.4 million in the nuclear winter of 2009. My customers include Kraft Foods, Campbell Soup, Volvo, and (ahem) BP, and I'm built for mobility with apps up and running on the iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and others smartphones. And, I had a terrific IPO this week. Who am I?

Qlik Technologies did indeed complete a highly successful IPO late this week and its prospectus reveals a company with huge potential. From its position in the red-hot BI and analytics space, to its proven rapid-implementation cycle, to its impressive list of big corporate customers, to its well-established presence in the explosive mobile space, Qlik seems destined to become the #1 acquisition target for any of a range of enterprise-software companies eager to claim a stronger spot in the dynamic BI market.

From the company's S-1 registration statement:

We have pioneered a powerful, easy-to-use business intelligence solution that enables our customers to make better and faster business decisions. Our software platform, QlikView, combines enterprise-class analytics and search functionality with the simplicity and ease-of-use found in office productivity software tools for a broad set of business users. We have grown our customer base from over 2,000 customers in 2005 to approximately 14,000 as of March 31, 2010 and increased our revenue at a 59% compound annual growth rate during the same period. Our solution addresses the needs of a diverse range of customers, from middle market customers to large enterprises such as BP, Campbell Soup Company, Colonial Life, The Dannon Company, Inc., Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, ING, Kraft Foods, Lifetime Brands, National Health Service (NHS), Qualcomm, Symantec and Volvo Car UK Limited. We have customers in over 100 countries, and approximately 75% of our revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2010 was derived internationally.

But life always comes with some risk, and Qlik articulates in detail the obstacles it faces against bigger and better-capitalized competitors.

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And while I don't mean to minimize the seriousness of these points from Qlik, bear in mind that IPO prospectuses always seek to disclose every single possible trouble-spot the company could encounter—so, it would be fair to view some of these risk factors as possible but not not probable market impediments for Qlik.

But even in outlining its risks, Qlik also manages without trying to underscore the vibrancy and appeal of the market it now competes in as a publicly traded company:

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