How An IPO Really Works


From IPO fever is definitely back in the tech world. Some of the recent deals include DocuSign, Smartsheet, Pivotal Software, Zuora, Dropbox and Zscaler.

Yet the IPO process is often mysterious and misunderstood. So to get a sense of how things really work, I had a chance to talk to Howard Lerman, who is the founder and CEO of Yext. His company is the leader in Digital Knowledge Management (this involves applying algorithms to public facts so as to boost revenues and find business opportunities) and the customer base includes large enterprises like Arby’s, AutoNation, Marriott and T-Mobile.

Back in April 2017, Howard took Yext public on the New York Stock Exchange, raising $116 million. The lead investment bankers included Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan.

Okay, then what was the experience like for Howard? Well, let’s take a look:

#1- Pre-IPO Preparation

Despite recent loosening of the rules, an IPO still involves many regulations. Because of this, Yext started building the compliance infrastructure two years before it pulled off its own offering. This meant hiring a strong team with public company experience. There was also a need to hire a top audit firm.

Basically, before Yext sold shares, the company was already operating as if it were public. “It’s amazing the kinds of systems you need to put in place so you do not have any material weaknesses,” said Howard.

This also meant that millions had to be spent. This is why a company needs to reach a certain scale – such as over $100 million in annual revenues – to be a viable IPO candidate.

See full, original article here.

Workiva Expands Wdesk Platform with Wdata

Wdata adds powerful new data preparation capabilities to Wdesk to amplify data collaboration, ensure accuracy and automate downstream reports and analyses

AMES, Iowa – June 6, 2018Workiva (NYSE:WK), a leader in data collaboration, reporting and compliance solutions, today announces that it is expanding its Wdesk platform with Wdata that combines new data preparation capabilities with existing connectors and APIs to easily capture, enrich and connect large datasets to Wdesk.


Wdata amplifies the powerful linking, auditability and control features inside Wdesk to give customers all over the world the tools they need to improve data collaboration, automate reports and analyses and support finance transformation across their organizations.

Wdata is built for finance teams to gather, prepare and interpret massive datasets from cloud, on-premise and hybrid structured systems and desktop spreadsheets as well as Wdesk spreadsheets. With an easy, drag-and-drop experience, users are able to centralize data from diverse sources – including systems for enterprise resource planning (ERP), human resources, sales, operations, and governance, risk and compliance (GRC) – into a secure, cloud platform.

Wdata users integrate their external data into Wdesk to perform faster and more reliable reporting and analysis with linking, dynamic commentary, controlled collaboration, granular permissions and clear audit trails.

“Financial transformation for the modern age begins with Wdata and ends with Wdesk,” said Matt Rizai, Chairman and CEO of Workiva. “Our customers are able to eliminate data errors by ensuring quality and control throughout the entire financial reporting and analysis process – from initial discovery to final reports for management, boards and regulators.”

Key benefits of Wdata and Wdesk include:

  • Enriched financial data, consolidated in the cloud

Data is easily captured, prepared and aggregated from disparate sources into a secure, cloud-based platform without complex setup.

  • More access to better data

Robust connectivity expands access and usability of larger volumes of data, giving the right person access to the right data. Users easily build and shape data-linked reports and analysis for whatever they need, when and where they need it.

  • Automated reporting downstream

Narrative is linked to data across documents, spreadsheets, presentations so that any change is instantly updated throughout all downstream reports and analyses.

  • Last mile of data assurance

Data quality, transparency and control is maintained throughout the entire financial analysis and reporting process – from discovery to final reports – to eliminate risk of errors.

  • Accelerated business insight and better decision-making

Streamlined data collaboration gives finance teams more time for insight and analysis. Improved data transparency and consistency provides confidence in data-driven decisions.

Read the full press release here.

IPO Readiness Whitepaper: How to Hit the Ground Running

IPO White Paper

Real-world perspectives on going public

From As an emerging, high-growth company, you have just one chance at an initial public offering. What are investors looking for? Why do some companies flourish and others flounder after an IPO?

Our latest white paper, IPO Readiness: How to Hit the Ground Running, can help you prepare for life as a public company. It is filled with interviews with CEOs, CFOs, CAOs, investors, and more, all designed to help you get your house in order ahead of an IPO.

In this white paper, you will find:

  • Advice from experts who have been involved with significant, high-profile IPOs
  • A closer look at the SEC reporting requirements you can expect
  • Best practices for building out your staff and corporate board
  • Checklists and road maps to help you track your own IPO readiness

Download the white paper here and start putting the insights to work in your own IPO journey.

Workiva Signs OEM Agreement with SAP to Offer SAP Cloud Platform Integration with the Workiva Wdesk Platform

workiva sap partnership

Partnership integrates processes and data between cloud and third-party applications and on-premise solutions to deliver powerful linking, auditability and control features

AMES, Iowa – May 24, 2018Workiva (NYSE:WK), a leader in cloud-based data collaboration, reporting and compliance solutions, today announced it has signed an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) agreement with SAP (NYSE:SAP).

Through this agreement, Workiva is partnering with SAP to provide a first-party integration with the Wdesk platform using the SAP® Cloud Platform Integration service. The bundled solutions are expected to provide customers with powerful linking, auditability and control features.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates that Workiva and SAP are committed to providing customers with a rich integration experience,” said Matt Rizai, chairman and CEO of Workiva. “Through our OEM partnership, we will help customers all over the world improve the value of their business data.”

After users integrate their SAP business data directly into the Wdesk platform, they can benefit from the full capabilities of Wdesk, including synchronized data, dynamic commentary, controlled collaboration, granular permissions and clear audit trails. Wdesk enables narrative to be linked to data across documents, spreadsheets, presentations and reports.

Customers will be able to rely on the data transparency and consistency that Wdesk provides to help mitigate risk and have confidence in their data-driven decisions.

“SAP customers across every industry are looking to leverage cloud technology to improve data collaboration, reduce costs and gain greater business insights,” said Diane Fanelli, senior vice president, Platform Channels at SAP. “Our partnership with Workiva will help our customers improve data integrity and drive better business performance.”

Read full press release here.