Tableau Software Continues Rapid Sales, Expenses Growth in Q3

10/29/13Follow @bromano

Seattle big data visualization company Tableau Software increased third-quarter revenue 90 percent year-over-year to $61.1 million, and posted a $2.4 million profit.

That performance hasn’t yet made up for losses earlier this year: Tableau (NYSE: DATA) is running nearly $4.2 million in the red for the first nine months of 2013. Tableau management are betting heavily on growth and are willing to operate at a loss to do so.

The company’s operating expenses increased about 90 percent in the third quarter, to nearly $54 million, as it continued hiring at a fast clip to expand sales, marketing, and research and development. Tableau had 1,039 employees at the end of the third quarter, up 70 percent from the same time a year ago.

Co-founder and CEO Christian Chabot said on a conference call with analysts Monday that Tableau is spending on R&D to add new features such as integration with the R statistical computing and graphics software, better storytelling with data, and support for 64-bit operating systems and Mac. (Tableau’s vice president of engineering, Andrew Beers, is part of the lineup for Xconomy’s Nov. 19 public forum: Big Insight—Making Sense of Big Data in Seattle.)

The company sees opportunities for growth beyond North America. International markets (outside of the U.S. and Canada) accounted for only 18 percent of third-quarter revenue. It opened a London office in the third quarter, and a new office serving the Asia Pacific region on Monday.

Results in the quarter were helped by what Chabot calls a “large multi-million-dollar deal with a leading technology company.” He says the deal began with one business unit in the company using Tableau and has since expanded to 15 units, demonstrating the strength of the company’s offering to large businesses.

Indeed, Tableau is landing a growing number of large deals: 119 sales of $100,000 or greater in the third quarter.

Chabot says the company now has more than 15,000 customers including the likes of Boeing, Nike, Zulily, Siemens AG, and Williams-Sonoma.

While big data tools such as Tableau allow people to answer questions they may never have thought to ask before, they can also confirm things we all know inherently. Chabot gave an example of the latter when describing a new set of data uploaded to Tableau Public on Fourth of July fireworks injuries.

“If you were wondering, men are responsible for more than two-and-a-half times more firework injuries than women,” he says, according to a conference call transcript at Seeking Alpha. “I am sure that will come as a surprise to no one.”

Tableau also filed paperwork with the SEC related to the eligibility for sale of company stock and options by major shareholders, executives, and directors, whose shares were covered by lock-ups following its IPO in May. The lock-ups are being released a bit earlier than originally planned. Tableau itself will receive no proceeds from the sale of these shares.

Tableau had $226 million in cash and equivalents on its balance sheet at quarter’s end. The company’s shares closed at $65.45 in trading on the New York Stock Exchange Monday, giving Tableau a market cap of $3.87 billion.

Benjamin Romano is editor of Xconomy Seattle. Email him at bromano [at] xconomy.com. Follow @bromano

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