Software firm Globoforce eyes IPO again as profits, revenues soar

Firm has recorded compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the last six years of 21%

Globoforce, an Irish software firm that operates employee reward and incentive schemes for some of the world's biggest companies, has said it is continuing to weigh up a public listing.

The move comes as the group reported a 35 per cent jump in profits for 2016 as turnover easily surpassed the $300 million (€252 million) mark.

Co-founded in Dublin in 1999 by chief executive Eric Mosley, the company's clients include Biogen, KPMG, Procter & Gamble, Symantec, JetBlue Airways, Baker Hughes and DHL.

Globoforce pulled out off a planned IPO on the Nasdaq in March 2014, citing unfavourable market conditions. Speaking to The Irish Times, Mr Mosley said the company is currently looking at a possible flotation, but said it would seek a listing if the right conditions are in place.


“We continue to look at the public markets. It has to be the right time though because you can do great damage by going out at the wrong time. Every year we look at an IPO and we will do so again next year, but while we are looking we’re in no rush to do it,” said Mr Mosley.

Newly filed accounts for Globoforce, which recently moved into significantly larger premises in Park West, show pretax profits climbed to $3.9 million in 2016 from $2.85 million a year earlier.

The rise in profits came as turnover increased to $310 million, from $283 million in 2015 and $250 million two years ago.

Globoforce has been both operating cash flow and free cash flow positive for each of the last nine years. The group, which has recorded compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the last six years of 21 per cent, said cash at hand at the end of last year totalled $48.7 million.

“We’re doing extremely well with improvements to all lines in our financial results and the market is booming, which is playing into our positioning ,” said Mr Mosley.

He said the company expected the 2017 performance t to be “profitable and cashflow positive with continued growth.”

Globoforce started out as Globogift. com, enabling customers to purchase gift cards online from international merchants. It now provides a software-as-a-service (Saas) platform, operating reward programmes on behalf of corporates that wish to recognise employee performance.

“We were the first to create the market category of social recognition and there is no doubt it has been embraced and that its time has come with major Fortune 500 companies looking at this as a way to motivate their employees,” he added.

The company has invested more than $50 million in its research and development over the last five years to improve its technology platform.

It raised more than $2 million in funding from venture capital firm Balderton Capital in 2002. A $9.3 million Series B funding round, led by Atlas Ventures, followed two years later.

The company, which employs 250 people and recently announced plans to create an additional 100 jobs in Dublin, ended 2016 with a cash balance of $56 million, up from $32 million a year earlier.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist