Enterprise HR company Workday gunning for $400M IPO

Faith Merino · August 31, 2012 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/29d8

The enterprise resource management software company made $134.4M in revenue in 2011

It’s Friday, so I’m sure you’re itching for some sexy enterprise software news.  Itch no more: HR software company Workday has made its IPO plans official with an S-1 form.  The company is aiming for a public debut that will generate $400 million.

The company offers a suite of solutions to the everyday ins and outs of running a company, including payroll, financial management (billing, accounting, cash management, etc.), time tracking, and human capital management (absences, benefits, organization, and so on).  The solutions are a cloud-based alternative to in-house legacy enterprise applications, which are pricey, inflexible, and outdated. 

With 1,450 employees, Workday reported revenues of $134.4 million in 2011, up from $68.1 million in 2010 and $25.2 million in 2009.  That’s a pretty impressive increase—particularly between 2010 and 2011, when revenues spiked 170%.  But the company has also reported increasing losses over the years.  In 2011, Workday suffered a net loss of $79.6 million, up from $56.2 million in 2010 and $49.9 million in 2009.

And Workday admits that it’s going to keep losing.  Among its risk factors, the company notes that it has “a history of cumulative losses and we do not expect to be profitable for the foreseeable future.”  They’re definitely not sugar-coating anything.

But despite the seven-year-old company’s failure to turn a profit, it’s proven to be very popular among its enterprise customers.  With applications in 21 different languages, Workday serves 325 customers including Aviva International Holdings, AIG, Georgetown University, Four Seasons Hotels, Lenovo, and Kimberly-Clark Corporation, among others.  Its largest deployment to date was for an organization with a global workforce of more than 200,000 employees.

IDC recently reported that the global market for enterprise resource management software totaled $39 billion in 2011.  The research group also estimates that Software-as-a-Service market will grow at a CAGR of 24% to reach $67 billion in 2016, compared to $23 billion in 2011.

Workday estimates that the average lifespan of a legacy enterprise software application is approximately 10-15 years.  As the last refresh was before 2000, the company anticipates a rising demand for new cloud-based ERM applications over the next few years.

Last fall, the company raised $85 million, bringing its total financing to $250 million, which had some experts estimating the company’s valuation to be $2 billion.  Financial backers include Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s Bezos Expeditions, Janus Capital Group, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, and T. Rowe Price, among others.


Image source: iphonecto.com

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