WSJ: Workday, HR software maker, files for IPO

Our Summary:  Workday, founded in 2005 by Duffield and Bhusri, declared its intention to raise up to $400MM in an IPO (tentative price).  Founders intend to retain dominant control.  Workday had $120MM in revenues in first half 2012 doubling the revenue with losses growth of ~30% from a year ago.  No date set on when Workday will start trading.  Last fall company raised $85MM on $2B valuation.

Our comment: a little context according to InformationWeek:

Just this week, IBM acquired HCM vendor Kenexa for $1.3 billion. That deal comes in the wake of SAP’s $3.4 billion acquisition of SuccessFactors, Oracle’s $1.9 billion buy of Taleo, and’s purchase of privately held Ryyple.

Workday Discloses Finances, Plans for Founders’ Control

by Ben Werthen
Originally published Aug 30, 2012

Workday, one of the most closely watched among a new crop of enteprise-technology start-ups, on Thursday opened the kimono on its inner workings on the way to an IPO and also disclosed that its founders are determined to keep control of the venture as a public company.

The company, which makes human-resources software, was founded by Dave Duffield and Aneel Bhusri in 2005. The two men had previously helped lead PeopleSoft, the big human-resources software maker that was acquired by Oracle after a bitter fight.

Like Google and Facebook in the run-up to their IPOs, Workday’s prospectus discloses that the company will adopt a dual-share structure. That will leave Mr. Duffield and Mr. Bhusri with dominant voting control after the offering is completed–and in the driver’s seat in any future takeover battle.

Workday, which hopes to raise $400 million in the IPO, disclosed it had $120 million in revenue in the first half of its 2012 fiscal year, more than doubling its sales from the year-ago period. It posted a loss of $47 million, compared with a loss of $36 million a year earlier.

Workday’s focus on human-resources functions mirrors that of PeopleSoft. Unlike some online-software companies that target smaller customers earlier in life, Workday from the outset focused its sales on big businesses.

Read the rest on WSJ here.

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