Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Jive Software Said to Hire IPO Bankers, but No One There Is Talking

If it weren’t already pretty obvious that Jive Software had begun the long march toward an initial public offering, then there can be no doubt after today. Bloomberg News scored tips from three sources — my guess is chatty bankers — that Jive has tapped Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs to lead its IPO, with UBS and Citigroup also in on the deal.

Jive has more or less been telegraphing its IPO intentions since it hired Tony Zingale as its CEO last year. Zingale is the former head of Mercury Interactive who engineered its $4.5 billion sale to Hewlett-Packard in 2006. Then in March it bulked up its board with a slate of directors who all have public company experience, among them Dave Dewalt, the former president of McAfee, and Google’s Sundar Pichai. Heck, Jive has even been acting like a public company, making the occasional acquisition — two in the last several months.

The way Bloomberg tells it, Jive is being valued at $1 billion and would offer a stake worth 10 to 20 percent in the company in the IPO. And research firm Gartner pegs its annual revenue at $70 million. It’s the leader in the social enterprise software field, which is all about making the workplace more collaborative by making office applications more social, a la Facebook, Twitter and the like. (In fact, one of Jive’s newest directors is Jonathan Heiliger, VP of technical operations at Facebook.)

There’s been a lot of action in this space of late, beginning with’s launch of Chatter at the start of the year with a pair of TV ads during the Super Bowl. Other players have either been growing like crazy and raising boatloads of cash (example: Yammer) or have been acquired (example: Socialcast.)

(I caught up with Zingale for a quick chat at the D9 conference in June. See the video below.)

This deal would amount to another big win for Morgan, which has led the IPOs of LinkedIn and Pandora, among others. An IPO would probably bring a nice payout to Sequoia Capital and Kleiner Perkins, which have plunked down $57 million in venture capital funding.

I called Jive to see if anyone there would comment and got zilch, but what do you expect from a company that’s going IPO? Not that I blame them. With investment bank lawyers skulking around every corner, everyone gets too nervous to so much as confirm the time of day. It made me think of the old Bee Gees hit “Jive Talkin’,” which I’ve shared with you — and hereby dedicate to the employees of Jive Software as they go through this process. No one at Jive is talking. Get it?

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