Business intelligence firm Tableau Software has made the first step towards an initial public offering (IPO) in a move to raise $150m.
Industry commentators and analysts have taken note, with Tableau Software being one of the last standing independent BI firms. The sector had gone through a period of consolidation, with the likes of IBM, SAP and Oracle embarking on BI acquisition sprees.
V3 approached Tableau Software for comment but the firm is prohibited by Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules from discussing the matter further.
Although Tableau Software is not one of the largest independent BI firms, it does occupy a unique place in the market.
"At high level, they differentiate themselves from their competitors in the business discovery and visualisation capabilities they offer customers," Helena Schwenk, analyst for MWD Advisors, told V3.
"They seem to want to follow a similar path to [competitor] QlickTech, which had an IPO in 2009 after a successful incubation period. They used the IPO to grow the company globally and push towards and enterprise user base."
Other public BI firms include Teradata and Microstrategy, which both have a larger market share than Tableau Software. Privately owned BI firms include Information Builders and SAS.
Analyst firm Ovum predicted that Tableau Software would be going public this year.
"Ovum has watched the stellar rise and growth of Tableau with interest for several years," said Ovum analyst Fredrik Tunvall.
"The company, which started out as small but promising startup, offering patented data visualisation software has certainly benefited from heightened interest in Big Data, specifically helping companies to make business sense of it through innovative, visually driven analytics."
Tunvall said the money raised from the IPO should help Tableau Software invest in research and development, and the move will be watched closely by the firm's rivals.
"It will also help the company expand beyond the North American market by investing money into its marketing and sales teams efforts globally," he added.
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