Mar 2, 2023 - Business

Raleigh software maker Pendo's quest to go public

Photo illustration of Todd Olson, surrounded by abstract shapes.

Photo illustration: Maura Losch/Axios. Photo courtesy of Pendo

Raleigh software unicorn Pendo faces a pivotal year in its quest to going public.

  • “I think we're certainly on that path,” Pendo CEO and co-founder Todd Olson told Axios over the phone, “and hopefully, we'll be there in due course — like end of this year [or] probably sometime next year.”

Why it matters: Pendo, a maker of software that collects data on how customers use their products and websites, is one of the Triangle’s biggest startup successes of the past decade.

  • In the past few years, it’s reached 900 employees, added its name to the Raleigh skyline and earned a valuation of $2.6 billion.

State of play: In 2022, economic uncertainty caused many companies to slow their software spending and Pendo had to conduct layoffs after years of high-flying growth.

  • Olson said Pendo still plans on hiring and potentially buying other startups this year, but it’s more focused on increasing efficiency now than all-out growth.

What they're saying: “I think we've done a really good job of adjusting how we think about managing a business and it makes us a stronger company.”

  • Olson added that Pendo doesn’t need to rely on raising more money from investors in the near future, which he believes is a sign of strength.
  • "It's a great place to be that we don’t need to ask anyone" for cash, he said. "We essentially control our own destiny."

Bottom line: A Pendo IPO would be a major win for the Triangle — it would be the first significant IPO for a local software company since Red Hat did it more than 20 years ago.

  • And it would lead to a windfall for employees and local investors.

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