Smartsheet Plans to Go Public as More Tech Firms Explore IPOs

Smartsheet, a developer of collaborative software that allows users to track projects and manage corporate processes, said this week it is seeking to raise $100 million as part of a planned initial public offering.

Bellevue, WA-based Smartsheet’s revenues and headcount have risen sharply in recent years, though it continues to lose money on an annual basis, according to a prospectus the company filed with federal securities regulators.

Launched in 2005, Smartsheet has raised about $120 million in outside investment. The company’s backers include Madrona Venture Group, Sutter Hill Ventures, and Insight Venture Partners, which led Smartsheet’s $52.1 million Series F funding round a year ago. (The company received a post-money valuation of $852 million following the round, according to data from PitchBook.)

In its prospectus, Smartsheet said its revenues in the fiscal year ending Jan. 31 were $111.3 million, up from $67 million in the previous year. The company recorded a net loss of $49.1 million in the 12-month period that ended in January. Smartsheet has yet to turn a profit on an annual basis in the dozen years it’s been in business, according to a Seattle Times report.

Smartsheet said in its prospectus that it has 787 employees. That’s an increase of more than 40 percent from 560 employees last May.

The company said it plans to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “SMAR.”

According to data from accounting and consulting firm EY, 36 U.S. companies went public in the first three months of 2018, up from 25 offerings in the same period a year ago.

Tim Holl, a partner at EY who works in the firm’s San Diego office, said he expects the pace of IPO activity to pick up in the second quarter, which has been the most active quarter for public offerings by U.S. businesses in recent years.

More than two dozen companies, including Spotify and now Smartsheet, have submitted prospectus documents to the SEC indicating they plan to go public.

One tech business that just made a big splash with its IPO is San Francisco-based Dropbox (NASDAQ: DBX), which develops cloud storage software. Last week, the company raised about $756 million in its public market debut, and its market cap is now more than $11 billion.

Jeff Buchanan is the editor of Xconomy Wisconsin. Email: jbuchanan@xconomy.com Follow @_jeffbuchanan

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