Sunday, January 13, 2008

Fortune: Here come the hot IPOs of '08

"Here are some IPO candidates to keep an eye on:
MySQL. One of the most anticipated tech IPOs of the coming year, MySQL is the leading open-source database company on the planet. Its software might not have the bells and whistles of Oracle 11, but it also comes at a much cheaper price. According to the venture capitalist lunch chatter, MySQL is expected to file very soon.
Ingres. From 30,000 feet Ingres looks like a competitor to MySQL, but actually focuses on another part of the database food chain that is more competitive with Oracle (ORCL, Fortune 500). Another open source company, it has the heft, approaching $100 million in revenue and is cash flow positive. It is widely expected to file for a public offering by mid-year.
SugarCRM. Yet another open-source company, it offers, as its name suggests, software for customer relationship management, things like sales force automation and customer support. It is also on-demand. Think of it as an open-source version of (CRM). The word is that it is cash flow positive.
ExactTarget. A slew of software as a service companies got out the IPO door in 2007, and on-demand e-mail marketing company ExactTarget has filed with the SEC to join that group in early 2008. And get this: unlike some of its on-demand peers, it's profitable. For the first nine months of 2007, revenues came to $34.2 million, up from $22 million during the same period in 2006. Earnings in 2007 were $2.1 million. The comparison here is competitor Constant Contact (CTCT), which went public last October. And although Constant Contact got out first, the chatter about ExactTarget has been nothing but good.
Parallels (formerly SWsoft). The virtualization technology company has more than doubled revenues every year for the past eight years, so it's got the track record. And its products are giving VMware a run, especially in the small- and medium-business marketplace. Just find someone who uses Parallels and they will not stop gushing about it. Given VMware's successful IPO, you can bet the SWsoft executive team and their investors including Intel Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners and Insight Venture Partners are looking hard at their IPO options in 2008. "

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