Bad Time for an IPO Dont Tell Zendesk

If anyone tried to convince Zendesk cofounder and CEO Mikkel Svane that now was the wrong time for an enterprise, SaaS company to go public, it’s good he didn’t listen.

Yesterday the company’s shares opened for trade on the New York Stock Exchange, under the ticker symbol ZEN, at $9 each -- directly in the middle of its projected $8 to $10 range -- and ended the day at $13.43, more than 49 percent above where they started.

It’s estimated that the cloud help desk provider raised $100 million which it will use to build on its success and accelerate its growth.

This should come as a nice surprise to folks like Aaron Levie, CEO of Box, and others like him, who are delaying (or at least seem to be) their IPOs because the market’s mood seems unfavorable, especially for cloud services providers.

Svane and his cofounders Alexander Aghassipour and Morten Primdahl decided not to afford themselves that luxury.

“We are focused narrowly on our company and our strategy,” Svane told Bloomberg West, explaining that markets go up and go up and down and that they shouldn’t alter their company’s course because of that.

“It’s in our destiny to become a public company,” he said. “We are a next generation business software company and get to set a standard for that category.”

And while it’s unlikely that Zendesk completely closed its eyes and ran into the wind, they showed little anxiety about doing so now.

They have a market to capture, after all.

A Growing Proposition

Svane says that 42,000 businesses use Zendesk at present and that there are 67 million who could use its services.

After yesterday, the company has the resources it needs to get busy.

“This is a fantastic day of celebration of a milestone,” he said after the bell was rung.

And the entire enterprise tech market and SaaS providers, whose shares have tumbled of late, can now breathe a sigh of relief.