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June 27, 2012

Recommind gearing up for IPO

Information management vendor not worried about tech bubble fears, CEO tells CBR

By Steve Evans

Information management and eDiscovery vendor Recommind is preparing to float on the stock market, CBR can reveal.

Despite lingering economic worries and suggestions that the industry is in the middle of another tech bubble, the San Francisco-based firm is pushing ahead with IPO plans, CEO Bob Tennant told CBR.

"We are looking at going public, probably not too long from now," he said. "The macro-environment is one of the things we’ll be keeping an eye on. The company is in a position to go public if we want to. There’s a lot of uncertainty in the world at the moment and that might not be so good for public markets but it’s great for Recommind."

Tennant added that suggestions the tech industry is in the middle of another stock market bubble is not of huge concern, given that business technology firms are holding up well. It is the more consumer-facing like Facebook and Groupon that have struggled, he said.

"There has been a significant decline in the stocks of what are not really IT companies, basically consumer-oriented software-delivered services like Facebook and Pandora. They haven’t done well at all as a group," he said. "On the other hand if you look at enterprise software companies like Splunk and DemandWare, they’ve done extremely well, they are up significantly up as a group."

"I personally think there is a bubble in the consumer tech space," Tennant added. "Everybody hears about Facebook or uses it so they think it must be growing like crazy but if you look at the multiple they are paying on top of Facebook’s revenue you’d have to be Apple to justify it."

After months of rumours Facebook finally went public in May this year, at an opening price of $38, which valued the eight year-old company at $100bn. However after an initial bump in price, the stock steadily fell over the next few weeks, eventually hitting a low of $25.52 in early June. It has since staged a small recovery and is now hovering around $32, still below its opening price.

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Its performance, along with the likes of Zynga and Groupon, has resulted in some analysts suggesting another tech stock crash is around the corner. Facebook’s $1bn acquisition of photo app Instagram, has added to those fears.

CBR recently looked at whether the tech bubble is about to burst. You can read that feature here.

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