Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Investors Sure Love Them Some Jive Today

Shares of Jive are getting a lot of love today, in part because of a positive mention over the weekend by our friends over at Barron’s. As of 2:20 pm ET, Jive’s share price was up 7.5 percent to $18.36, which is nearly as high as it has traded ever, which was earlier today. Not bad for a company that priced at $12 a share less than three months ago.

Jive, you’ll remember, is the social enterprise software company whose cloud-based and on-premise-based software enables employees at large companies to collaborate and share information as readily as they do on Facebook or Twitter. Investors who might have been shut out from Facebook’s IPO filing may want to go after a smaller, more accessible target that’s just like Facebook — social — but which also has a clear, concise and limited mission to make workplaces more productive.

Last week, Jive reported quarterly results for the first time, and there’s certainly plenty to like. Its net loss wasn’t quite so bad as analysts had expected, while sales grew 53 percent and spurred its billings — a key metric for cloud companies who sell their software on a subscription basis — up 46 percent during the year. It signed new customers like Thomson Reuters, Starbucks and Verizon in the last year.

Jive went public late last year, only days before Zynga went, too, and so a lot of people missed out on Jive’s excitement.

All the love from the markets has me wondering who will be next among the cloud companies to take the public plunge. Workday, the cloud-based HR software company run by Aneel Busri, which last October raised $85 million at an implied valuation of $2 billion, was last seen looking for bankers to get it through an IPO sometime this year.

Workday will no doubt get a lot of attention due in no small part to the acquisitions of Taleo by Oracle last week and of SuccessFactors by SAP in December. But it will also get a lot of attention for the fact that many of its most recent institutional investors are the same ones who invested in Facebook: Fidelity, T. Rowe Price, Morgan Stanley and Janus among them. That makes for a nice tasty Facebook comparison right there. We’ll find out soon enough if investors see it that way.


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