May 24, 2013

Tableau on the Trading Table

The Big Data market continues on its tear with the debut of Tableau’s IPO.  The Company priced last week at $31/share and rocketed up to a high of almost $60/share, for a whopping market cap of ~$3.4 billion.  When the Company filed its S1 form with the SEC, shares were expected to be issued in the $23 to $26 range – this was later raised to $28 to $30, before ultimately issuing at $31. Tableau closed on Thursday at $52.92 trading at a 2013P revenue multiple of 12.8x, which is what you enjoy when you double license sales for the last two years.  The visual analysis and data discovery software provider is proving that on-premise software license sales aren’t dead – at least in the spicy Big Data sector (much like Splunk!) and that true Big Data companies can actually be more than five years old. 

There have been a number of M&A deals in the visual analytics space in the last few months, but none with the splash and fanfare of Tableau’s IPO.  Actuate bought the advanced analysis and visualization provider Quiterian and QlikTech picked up NComVA, just to name a couple.  We’re excited to see what happens in this segment as the competitive landscape quickly changes.  In the last 2 years, just about every BI vendor has attempted to develop a visual analytics product that essentially replicates Tableau’s capability.  In addition, many of the start up analytics companies were influenced by their customers to develop a visualization layer that was “good enough” to be able to visualize their data.  Many of these companies offer attractive products, but haven’t yet achieved scale.  With an established leader in the space, it will now be interesting to see the pace at which the larger players gobble up smaller visual analytics companies as this slice of the Big Data pie has been served.