AirWatch Meets Bankers to Weigh IPO for Early Next Year

AirWatch LLC, a maker of security and data-management software for mobile devices, is talking to bankers as it considers an initial public offering for early next year.

The Atlanta-based company may seek to raise at least $150 million and is meeting with financial advisers including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co., co-founder Alan Dabbiere said. AirWatch has no outside investors and may still opt to remain private, he said.

Founded in 2003, AirWatch has grown as more corporations rely on its software to manage and protect sensitive business information on workers’s smartphones and tablets. With tools to fend off hackers, wipe information from lost devices and upgrade applications, AirWatch competes with vendors such as MobileIron Inc. and Good Technology Inc. in a market that researcher Radicati Group Inc. expects to reach more than $1.12 billion by the end of 2016.

“We’ve looked at going public very soon,” Dabbiere said in an interview. After an IPO, “We’d have a war chest for acquisitions. It’s just good to have a strong cash balance.”

As revenue has surged, AirWatch has grown to 1,000 employees, up from 150 two years ago, Dabbiere said. While declining to provide sales figures, he said revenue is growing about 40 percent each quarter.

The previous company Dabbiere founded, Manhattan Associates Inc., sold shares at $15 apiece in an IPO in 1998. Shares in the company, which sells computerized systems to help move goods through distribution centers, have more than tripled since then.

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