SAN MATEO, Calif. – Persistence Software Inc., an e-commerce software developer, went public June 24, offering 3 million shares at $11 apiece. The company’s stock priced at the high end of its $9 to $11 filing range.
BancBoston Robertson Stephens, U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray and SoundView Technology Group underwrote the initial public offering, which left 18.45 million shares outstanding.
There were no selling shareholders. Thompson Clive Investments, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Venture Partners, MSIT Holdings Inc. and The Entrepreneurs’ Fund were venture backers.
Persistence develops transactional application servers, software that processes transactions between users and back-end computer systems for e-commerce systems. The company’s software helps reduce network traffic, which results in better network performance and faster transaction processing. Customers include AT&T Corp., Cisco Systems Inc., Federal Express Inc. and Lucent Technologies Inc.
The estimated $29.8 million earned from the offering will be used for product development and expanding sales and marketing forces, as well as for general corporate purposes.
Founded in 1991 as Fulcrum Innovations Inc., Persistence has not been profitable in recent years, losing $4.1 million in 1998 and $4.7 million in 1997.
Jeffrey Webber, a general partner of The Entrepreneurs’ Fund, joined the company’s board of directors in March 1995, followed in March 1996 by William Harding, a general partner of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Venture Partners. Gregory Ennis, a director of Thomas Clive, joined the board in November 1996 and Merrit Lutz, a senior adviser to Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co., was named a director in July 1997.
Persistence Software – Selected Financial
(in thousands, except per share data)
Year Ended December 31, Three Months Ended March 31,
1996 1997 1998 1998 1999
Total revenue 3,774 5,413 10,160 1,710 2,863
Net loss -3,311 -4,674 -4,089 -1,704 -1,915
Net loss per share -0.54 -0.73 -0.59 -0.25 -0.27