You've probably heard the news by now: Jive Software has filed to go public for US$ 100 million. On the up side, this means the IPO window for speculative technology companies is open even wider. On the down side, it revealed Jive's financials which, as it turns out, aren't exactly inspirational.
Jive ended 2010 with US$ 46.3 million in sales and US$ 27.6 million in net losses. The first half of 2011 didn't see better numbers, as sales were at US$ 34 million and the loss increased to US$ 30.5 million.
As far as the future is concerned, Jive's mounting expenses will likely be an issue. Research and development costs — US$ 18.3 million in 2010 — are already on track to reach US$ 30 million this year, while at their current pace, sales and marketing expenses will hit US$ 40 million this year, up from US$ 29 million last year.
We all know you have to spend money to make money, which is why a big piece of Jive's debt comes from the acquisition of OffiSync. With it, Jive has set its sights on a big goal: to bring social functions to Microsoft Office and Outlook.
"For those who've wondered whether it's really possible for an enterprise to embrace Social Business, you can stop wondering," said Jive CEO Tony Zingale. "With this acquisition, Jive is bringing Social Business to you, where you work, to your desktop, to the applications and emails you live in eight hours a day. Our customers no longer have to choose between collaborating on Jive's Social Business platform or the familiar Microsoft Office UI."
Further, Jive has also managed to land a number of other big customers, including Hewlett-Packard, SAP, T-Mobile and investment bank UBS. Considering those names, the arrow for Jive points in a partially positive direction, but only time will tell.
In the meantime, the company's competitors have drummed up some fighting words. In particular, David Sacks of Yammer argued that Jive will face costly architectural issues as it continues to move more of its customers to the cloud:
“When Jive talks about the cloud, what they mean is they will host it for you…but it’s not a true cloud architecture,” he warned. “…Somebody has to do something to upgrade. It may be easier if they’re running it for you, but historically with on-premise software…a lot of modifications and customizations get made to them–people write code to run it differently to their network–and you can’t upgrade without losing all that work.”
Words of your own? Drop them in the comments section below. Or, if facts and figures are your thing, check out all of the company filings.