Jive Financials Show Social Software Momentum
Following IPO, Jive reports a bigger loss but also bigger deals--and a new user self-provisioning cloud option on the horizon.
Headlines on financial news sites emphasized a bigger loss in the fourth quarter, despite higher revenue, although Venturebeat provided a more upbeat assessment, emphasizing 53% revenue growth over the same period in 2010. CEO Tony Zingale called the results "better than what we expected and a strong finish for the year."
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Revenue rose to $22.5 million from $14.7 million, but the net loss for the quarter was $12.7 million. Jive's net loss for the year was $50.8 million and for 2012 it is projecting a loss of $23 to $25 million, as it seeks market share over profitability. In the fourth quarter, Jive increased sales and marketing by 61%, to $13 million, as it sought to win customers from larger companies like Salesforce.com and IBM. Now it wants to put the $131.4 million in net proceeds it raised in its December initial public offering to work cementing its lead.
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Zingale boasted of "winning the largest and most important customer relationships," celebrating "blue chip customers" making significant "enterprise-wide agreements," including PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ace Insurance, and Thomson Reuters. Those customer wins are significant because each is worth more than $1 million in annual revenue to Jive, which sells its software on a subscription basis whether it's deployed on premises or hosted by Jive. "We have never experienced several new deals of this size in a quarter," he said. "While too early to call a trend, this is a sign enterprises are realizing that social business software may be one of the most important decisions they make this decade."
"Consumers are moving to social media faster than any other technology adoption curve in our lifetime," he said, and businesses increasingly see the potential to apply it internally and in communication with partners and customers. More enterprises are putting out RFPs specifically for social business software, he said.
Zingale's combative style was also on display as he made the point that "each of the highlighted customers already [has] relationships with large enterprise software vendors that make a lot of noise about being in social business software." Jive is able to win out over the likes of IBM and Salesforce.com because its focus on social business software distinguishes it from vendors "bolting on" social capabilities to existing products, he said. Jive also has an advantage in being "agnostic" about links to other enterprise systems, such as email, document management, or customer relationship management, in contrast with firms that are trying to expand from a base in one of those categories, he said.
Zingale also revealed a few details about Project Thunder, a technology upgrade currently in beta and due to roll out mid-year. Project Thunder will make Jive "capable of being self-provisioned by customers," making it easier for new and potential customers to sign up for and try Jive online and for departments within large enterprises to provision their own social workspaces, he said. In other words, Jive will be rounding out its cloud computing story.