In early August, Eloqua (NASDAQ:ELOQ) came public at $11.50 a share and has since gone on to hit over $19. The company is a top player in the emerging market for cloud-based marketing automation (the focus is on B2B customers). In the latest quarter, revenues climbed by 30% to $23.8 million.
I had a chance to talk to the company’s CEO, Joe Payne, who is a veteran of the software space. Before Eloqua, he was an executive at companies like VeriSign (NASDAQ:VRSN) and MicroStrategy (NASDAQ:MSTR).
Here’s what he had to say:
Q: How was the IPO process?
A: It was great. To get ready, I did talk to a bunch of CEOs to make sure I understood the process itself.
As for the roadshow, I actually felt sorry for my CFO. He had to hear my presentation over 70 times!
Q: What were some of the recurring questions from investors?
A: One was about the market, which is brand new. Investors wanted to get a good idea about what we do and about our customers. They also wanted to see how we fit versus Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL), Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM) and the email players.
Q: Why the success for Eloqua?
A: The way people buy has certainly changed for consumers. They often first go to the Internet before making a purchase.
The same thing is happening with B2B sales. The problem is that there has been little innovation with the process. So with Eloqua, we help with things like forums, webinars and white papers. We can then track the activity and help to find real buyers, not just tire kickers.
Q: If the economy slows down, how might that impact your growth rate?
A: No company is immune from a recession. In 2008, we felt the pressure and our growth rate slowed down.
But we have some advantages. First of all, we are a key part of helping companies drive revenues. This is something you do not want to turn off during a recession.
The other factor is that our subscription model is attractive to customers. They are essentially renting software, not making a big commitment to buy it. In other words, our approach is less risky for the CIO.