Tableau Software Files to Raise as Much as $150 Million

Tableau Software Inc., the developer of software that turns complex databases into graphics and maps, is seeking to raise as much as $150 million in an initial public offering.

The Seattle-based company used the amount as a placeholder that’s subject to change, according to a regulatory filing yesterday. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley are the lead underwriters, and the company is applying to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol DATA.

Tableau was co-founded in 2003 by Pat Hanrahan, an Academy Award-winning Stanford University professor whose software has created movie special effects and animations. The company’s products are designed to integrate with a customer’s databases or spreadsheets and help users without programming skills turn columns of numbers into interactive graphics and maps.

More than 10,000 companies, including Bank of America Corp., Coca-Cola Co. and Apple Inc., have used Tableau’s products. Competitors include International Business Machines Corp., Microsoft Corp., Oracle Corp. and Qlik Technologies Inc.

The market for business analytics software may grow at a compound annual rate of almost 10 percent through 2016, when it will total $50.7 billion globally, according to researcher IDC.

Tableau’s revenue more than doubled last year to $127.7 million, with 70 percent coming from licenses and the rest from maintenance and services. Almost half of the company’s revenue was spent on sales and marketing expenses and Tableau recorded a $2.88 million provision for income taxes, contributing to a 53 percent decline in profit. Net income fell to $1.6 million, or 1 cent a share, from $3.38 million, or 4 cents, in 2011.

Making Money

Even with a drop in profit, Tableau is making money, in contrast to other business-software makers that have gone public in the past year. Workday Inc., ServiceNow Inc., Splunk Inc. and Model N Inc. all reported annual losses before selling shares.

Tableau’s biggest shareholder is venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates, with a 38 percent stake. Hanrahan owns 18 percent, while co-founders Christopher Stolte and Christian Chabot, who is also chief executive officer, each own more than 15 percent. Meritech Capital Partners controls 6.4 percent.

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