|| Print ||
|Wednesday, July 21, 2010|
My conference call with two Jive Software executives on Monday was quite a workout. It isn’t easy to type in time with people so excited about their prospects that they can barely complete a sentence without flinging out phrases like “ awesome growth trajectory,” “totally stoked” and (avert your eyes now) “kicking ass and taking names.”
Fortunately, there’s substance behind the bluster. Jive, which is headquartered in Palo Alto but keeps a major presence in downtown Portland, has hired 100 people over the past year and has scored a $30 million investment from the same pair of Silicon Valley firms that backed Google. Expect an IPO over the next year, and plenty of hype about “magic quadrants” and “momentum in the space” between now and then.
Jive first took off in New York in 2001, but founders Bill Lynch and Matt Tucker brought the company to Portland shortly thereafter to grow it into a leader in social networking software for businesses. The founders and their early hires created a great technology platform and a notoriously lively workplace, but they never revved up the growth engines sufficiently to go public.
That has changed. Over the past few years, fast-talking California tech/IPO veterans gradually have taken leadership of the company, culminating with the move of headquarters from Portland to Palo Alto in May. CEO Dave Hersh was replaced with Tony Zingale, who built Mercury Interactive into a billion-dollar company before engineering a $5 billion merger with Hewlett Packard. Other recent hires include executives from Cisco and Webtrends.
In addition to the new headquarters in California, Jive is also growing its office in Boulder, Colorado following the January purchase of Filtrbox, a social media monitoring company. The 100 new hires from last year were split fairly evenly between the California, Colorado and Portland offices, executives say. Jive’s Portland office at the Federal Reserve Building is humming with a new floor being built out and about a dozen hires over the past few months. More hiring is expected soon as Jive accelerates for a probable 2011 IPO.
Sequoia Capital had already invested $27 million in Jive, and is now partnering with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers on the new $30 million deal. Sequoia and KFCB have backed some of the biggest tech companies of the past two decades, including Amazon, Apple and Google.
“You don’t get these types of firms to write these types of checks unless you’ve got something really special to offer,” says Jive CFO Bryan LaBlanc.
“We’re the fastest growing and most innovative independent company in our space,” adds Christopher Lockhead, Jive’s Chief of Strategy.
Let the hype begin.
Ben Jacklet is managing editor of Oregon Business.
|A Complex Portrait: Immigration, Jobs and the Economy|
|Woman of Steel|
|Kill the Meeting|
|Ferguson bakery saved by crowdfunding|
|Obamacare yields more than 1M applicants in first week of open enrollment|
|Price of already-built homes in Seattle area drops|
|Apple hits record-high value|
|Fed's ability to regulate questioned|
|Budweiser to move away from Clydesdales|
|Mergers lucrative for departing CEOs, but not necessarily shareholders|
Is your business ready to join us in the call for action? This opening panel includes Oregon businesses who will discuss why they signed the Oregon Climate Declaration, the investments they are making to reduce carbon emissions, and how their actions are affecting their companies.
Get ready for two days of special events produced with the EPA, Portland Timbers and ISOS before and after the GoGreen Conference on October 16.
Plenty of employers seem “dazed and confused” after the recent vote to legalize marijuana. In light of Measure 91 passing, what are some issues for private-sector Oregon employers to consider?
Rotary’s Oregon Ethics in Business aims to raise consciousness about business ethics by honoring exceptional companies.
Barran Liebman’s annual employment law seminar is an industry classic.
Is my drug-free workplace policy up in smoke?
More than 400 "Change Makers" will gather to invest in a socially sustainable community.