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Jive — The Facebook of Business

'Social business software' company could go public within months


JiveJust as social networking has changed millions of lives, Jive wants to do the same for businesses. The company calls its technology “social business software,” and when you take a look at it, you’d think it was Facebook.

Jive thinks it can turn this social magic into an IPO. The company filed for its offering in late August and might pull off the deal within the next couple months. The underwriters include Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) and Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS).

Jive has two sides: First, employees can collaborate on projects, such as with real-time status updates and file sharing. Next, there is a similar interface for a company’s partners and customers. Access is on all platforms, desktop or mobile.

Jive believes seamless communications should mean improved productivity and lower costs. This especially is the case when compared to older technologies, such as from Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), which can be complicated to use and maintain. But by being based in the cloud, users can access Jive’s software from any web browser and do not need any investments in servers or other hardware. Jive also has its own app marketplace, which should make it easier for company customization.

Another key part of Jive’s strategy is acquisitions, which have been important to fill certain technology gaps. Perhaps the most important one was the deal for OffiSync, which provides real-time collaboration technologies for Microsoft’s Office products.

Jive currently has more than 650 customers, which include Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ), SAP (NYSE:SAP) and T-Mobile. Jive’s platform sports more than 17 million users.

And Jive has been growing at a torrid rate. In the latest quarter, revenues spiked 69% to $20.8 million. But the company still reported a loss of $7.6 million. However, considering Jive lost $16.1 million in the second quarter, it seems the company is making progress toward profitability. The market opportunity is big, too — IDC projects it to reach $10.3 billion by 2013.

Jive’s biggest hurdle is an extremely competitive environment. The company must contend with the likes of (NYSE:CRM) and Tibco (NASDAQ:TIBX). Even Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) recently jumped into the market. These companies have the advantage of cross-selling their massive customer bases and being able to provide lower pricing.

In light of this, it’s probably a good idea for Jive to go public sooner than later.

Tom Taulli runs the InvestorPlace blog “IPO Playbook,” a site dedicated to the hottest news and rumors about initial public offerings. He is also the author of “All About Short Selling” and “All About Commodities.” Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not own a position in any of the aforementioned stocks.

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media,

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