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Analysing SaaS IPOs: the past, present and future

It’s been almost 10 years since filed for IPO, on June 23 2004. And with a 56.4% gain in initial trading, it was the first genuine indicator of the huge monetisation potential in software-as-a-service (SaaS).

While Salesforce remains the leader in SaaS, there have been a plethora of public offerings since then – but not at the lightning pace that would have been expected.

Back in December Altos Ventures wrote about the first decade of SaaS IPOs, with an interesting conclusion: of the 40 SaaS firms who had floated, it took on average 9.7 years to go from founding to IPO, with the biggest hurdle breaking the $30m revenue mark.

It had been a tough journey for the majority of these firms, even the “unicorns” – the best in class organisations.

Yet there is light at the end of the tunnel, according to a new research infographic from Inventus Capital Partners, which cites a 2012 study claiming SaaS firms are “the most stable and consistently profitable post-IPOs, compared to other service-based tech companies.”

The Inventus research gives a similar 9.5 years as an average age of a SaaS IPO company, whilst analysing the five big IPOs of 2013 – FireEye, Marketo, RetailMeNet, Veeva and Zulily. But of course, the focus is also on the future, with big rumours of Box going public this year.

Take a look at the infographic below – what do you make of it?

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