Eloqua Pulls in $92M from IPO

Eloqua, a SaaS marketing automation and revenue performance management solutions provider, has raised $92 million in its initial public offering after announcing yesterday that it was selling 8 million shares of common stock at $11.50 per share. The stock began trading on the Nasdaq today at $12.02 under the ticker symbol "ELOQ." It was up 12.92 percent in trading from its original stock price.

Launched in 2000 and based in Vienna, Va., Eloqua is one of the first marketing automation vendors. It offers two platforms, Eloqua 9 and Eloqua 10, which help companies from SMBs to large enterprises launch, manage, and track their marketing campaigns in addition to monitoring their campaigns' impact on revenue growth. The company has more than 1,100 customers, which include Adobe, ADP, American Express Co., Dell, Dow Jones, Fidelity, and National Instruments.

As chief marketing officers search for efficient ways to manage and measure their marketing efforts, including their social media campaigns, vendors have been busy building out their offerings. IBM and Teradata bought marketing automation providers Unica and Aprimo, respectively, in 2010. Callidus Software, a provider of SaaS sales effectiveness tools, acquired marketing automation vendor LeadFormix early this year, and Marketo acquired social campaign management firm Crowd Factory in April.

By issuing an IPO, Eloqua is confident there is a growing demand for its solutions, notes Ray Wang, principal analyst and CEO at Constellation Research. "Everyone has been trying to figure out how to fill the gap between the SMB-sized solutions and what Unica (acquired by IBM) is doing for large companies. Eloqua and Marketo, especially, have been going head to head to fill this area," Wang says.

In terms of its impact on the industry, Eloqua's IPO is "good for everyone," according to Eric Rabinowitz, managing partner at Nurture Marketing, a Microsoft Dynamics partner and LeadFormix reseller. "This brings more recognition to the marketplace, placing it [marketing automation and revenue performance management] on the radar of more companies."

Revenue performance management, in particular, is reaching a new level of maturity, notes Paul Greenberg, president of consultancy firm The 56 Group. "We are seeing a significant change in the way that marketing departments are working with sales and being held accountable," Greenberg says. "There is an alignment of objectives between sales and marketing where in the past there were two different sets of goals and different thinking about outcomes…. The companies that are focusing on this alignment, like Eloqua, Marketo, and Infusionsoft, are highly successful because they've tapped into what's actually happening to sales and marketing at companies large and small."

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