We counsel strongly against putting money into IPOs, by the very nature of the distribution system you get too much of the bad ones and not enough of the good ones, but the disclosures can teach you a lot.
The most interesting tech IPO of the year
OK, the competition isn’t fierce. Just four technology companies have gone public in the US this year. But the fifth one, Twilio, which made its IPO intentions known last week, is bound to be the most interesting.
Because the closer you look at Twilio, the more it represents a new kind of tech company for a new era of tech.
Twilio, launched in 2008, has never turned a profit. But its losses have narrowed, and revenue grew to $166.9 million in 2015. Revenue last quarter was up 78% from a year ago, while the net loss shrank by 25%.
In many respects, Twilio is just another startup in the broad category known as software-as-a-service, or SaaS. But that underplays the startup and what it represents. To understand Twilio’s place on the internet, let’s take a closer look at the soon-to-be-public company.
Twilio calls itself a “cloud communications platform,” but remove a layer of jargon, and what Twilio does is send text messages on behalf of other services. When you receive an SMS to confirm your phone number, remind you of an appointment, or generate a password, there’s a good chance it was sent by Twilio, which has 28,648 paying clients.Leading customers of Twilio include many large, mostly American tech companies like Uber, Box, and EMC. (Quartz uses Twilio to text links of our iPhone app to new users.)...MUCH MORE