Qlik IPO Shows How Hot Business Intelligence Is

by Paul Shread

Business intelligence has so far been immune to economic downturns, and investors want in.

The IPO of Qlik Technologies (NASDAQ: QLIK) today showed just how hot the business intelligence (BI) market is.

On a day when major stock indexes plunged nearly 3 percent on slowdown fears and Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) fell 7 percent on disappointing quarterly results, Qlik's stock market debut shone.

The company's IPO priced above expectations last night and then traded another 28 percent higher today, raising $112 million for the company in the process.

The business intelligence, analytics and performance management market grew 4 percent to $9.32 billion last year, according to Gartner, even as the rest of the economy shrank by 2.4 percent and equipment and software investment fell 16.6 percent, according to U.S. GDP data.

Qlik fared even better than the rest of the BI market, growing sales by 33 percent last year to $157.4 million. In the first quarter of this year, that growth rate accelerated to 66 percent. The company has been profitable for two years.

Qlik claims a "powerful, easy-to-use business intelligence solution that enables our customers to make better and faster business decisions. Our software platform, QlikView, combines enterprise-class analytics and search functionality with the simplicity and ease-of-use found in office productivity software tools for a broad set of business users," according to an SEC filing from the company.

The company, founded in Sweden in 1993 and based in Radnor, Pennsylvania, boasts 14,000 customers, among them Campbell Soup, Colonial Life, Dannon, Kraft, Qualcomm, Symantec and Volvo. Qlik Technologies says QlikView's low cost and ease of use make it ideal for small and mid-sized businesses too.

Despite its early success, Qlik noted some obstacles in its SEC filing: "we face intense competition, and most of our competitors have longer operating histories, greater name recognition, larger customer bases and significantly greater financial, technical, sales, marketing and other resources than we have."

But with plenty of cash and a strong customer base, the company appears to be off to a good start.

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  This article was originally published on Friday Jul 16th 2010
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