I’ve interviewed SilkRoad CEO Flip Filipowski, several times because he’s a legend in the software business, having built multibillion-dollar companies like Cullinet and Platinum.
Now it looks like he’ll have another big win with Silkroad.
The company, which is a cloud provider of HR services, is prepping for an IPO — a goal he’s never been shy about in previous talks. According to a report from Reuters, the company has already selected its lead investment bankers, which include JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and Piper Jaffray (NYSE:PJC). The deal likely will come in the second half of the year.
Founded in 2003, SilkRoad has raised about $162 million from investors like Intel Capital, Azure Capital Partners and Crosslink Capital.
Last year, Silkroad snagged 185 new customers, marking an increase of 44% over the previous year, and it also enjoyed a 32% increase in bookings. (There are no revenue numbers since the company has not filed an S-1 with the SEC).
Flip is unsurprisingly bullish on the company’s prospects. He said during one of my interviews:
“The capitulation of the legacy players is a clear indication for investors that there will be a transfer of wealth from legacy vendor shareholders to cloud-based technology shareholders. As additional acquisitions follow, the cloud shareholders will be liquefied at very handsome premiums.”
The timing looks ideal for a SilkRoad offering, too.
For one, a variety of cloud companies have pulled off successful offerings, including ServiceNow (NYSE:NOW), which is up 86% since its June IPO, and WorkDay (NYSE:WDAY), which is in an industry similar to SilkRoad’s and has nearly doubled since going public in October.
Also, the cloud sector has been a hotbed of acquisitions. A recent example is Oracle’s (NASDAQ:ORCL) $871 million purchase for Eloqua, which came public in August. The overall return ended up at 108%. SAP (NYSE:SAP) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) also have been active, with billion-dollar deals for companies like Yammer and SuccessFactors.
Tom Taulli runs the InvestorPlace blog IPO Playbook. He is also the author of “How to Create the Next Facebook” and “High-Profit IPO Strategies: Finding Breakout IPOs for Investors and Traders.” Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.