Jive Software, which aims to be the Facebook for businesses, is seeking to raise as much as $117 million through an initial public offering.
The Palo Alto company–a perennial Inc. 5000 honoree–makes social-networking software for corporate clients, helping workers collaborate with each other and gather customer feedback, including making sure that, say, an upset customer's Tweet doesn't go unnoticed. It will sell 8.33 million shares, with stockholders offering an additional 3.37 million, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday. The price will be $8 to $10 per share, which puts Jive's valuation at as much as $573 million.
Engineers Matt Tucker and Bill Lynch founded Jive in Portland, Oregon, in 2001. Clients include Nike, Hewlett-Packard Co., Starbucks, Sprint, Kaiser Permanente, and Verizon. Industry analyst Gartner ranked Jive a leader alongside Microsoft and IBM in an October 2010 report on social software makers. "Jive is a leader because of its mature product, solution focus, vision of bridging internal and external communities, and strong evidence of market acceptance," observed Gartner.
The company struggled in 2008, cutting 30 jobs as it weathered the recession. Last year it replaced its CEO (also the company's first employee) and moved its headquarters to California last year to be closer to its venture capital backers: Sequoia Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers together control 48 percent of Jive's stock. Nearly half of the company's 392 employees are still in Portland.
Jive filed for its IPO in August. In a regulatory filing Wednesday, the company said it will use $20 million from its IPO proceeds to pay down existing debt and use the rest for "general corporate purposes."
Jive's losses have grown this year: Its net loss was $38.1 million in the first nine months of the year, compared with $20.9 million in the same period last year. The company also faces increased competition from established software companies such as Microsoft. On Wednesday, Salesforce.com launched software that helps companies create online marketing campaigns, and helps them analyze and act on conversations happening on Facebook, Twitter and other social media.
The shares will list on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol JIVE, according to the filing. Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group are leading the offering.
A couple of weeks ago, an analyst speaking at a computer conference in England suggested that enterprise software giant SAP was weeks away from announcing an acquisition of Jive. He later tweeted that his remarks had been misinterpreted and that no announcement was imminent.