E-Commerce for the Big Boys

With the summer vacations, the IPO market has been nonexistent. But in a
few weeks, things will start heating up again.

One IPO to look at is Calico Commerce.

The company is quite old by Net standards, starting in April 1994. In
fact, never in its history has the company generated any profits. So far,
the accumulated deficit is $34.4 million.

Four of its customers account for 52 percent of revenues and ten customers account
for 81 percent of revenues. Then again, this is normal, since Calico’s software
is geared for big companies. Most of its contracts are in excess of $1
million.

Here are the valuation metrics (assuming the IPO is priced at the top of
its current range):














































































Calico Commerce

CLIC

pro forma IPO

 
   

Shares offered

3.90

Price target/actual

$14.00

Proceeds

$54.60

Shares out

32.7

   

IPO market cap

$457.80

less working cap

$71.00

less LTD

0

Enterprise value

$386.80

1999 Revenues

$13.10

1999 Losses

$9.60

Annualized rev.

$32.00

   

Calico

 

Revenue multiple

14

Rev. multiple
enterprise

12


Some History


In the past 20 years, corporate America has spent billions on enterprise
resource planning and sales force automation — to create efficiencies, as
well as sales.

Unfortunately, these systems do not use the Net, so the
benefits have been limited to a small number of users. What’s more, the
technology tends to be inflexible and proprietary.

But as for Net solutions, these allow for efficient transactions between
customers, resellers and partners. But despite the advantages, companies
do not want to throw-away their legacy systems.

One solution is Calico’s software.

The software, though, is not for selling such things as books or CDs.
Rather, Calico specializes in complex products or services.

The hub of Calico is the eSales Configurator. Basically, this expert
system optimizes customer requirements with product attributes. That is,
giving the customer what he or she wants.

The software calculates such
things as the trade-offs of price, performance and many other complex
variables. In a sense, the software is an automated sales rep.

The software is relatively easy to configure using the
standards of XML (extensible markup language).

One happy customer is Nortel, which uses Calico software to sell its
high-priced complex telecom equipment. Other customers include Dell,
Merrill Lynch and Cisco.


Conclusion

The future looks bright for Calico. The market for ecommerce-enabling
software is expected to grow from $235 million in 1998 to $3.8 billion in
2002 (according to Forrester Research).

Yes, as has been the case with other enterprise software IPOs — such as
Quest Software (QSFT)
, Agile Software

(AGIL)
, and Silverstream Software
(SSSW)
) — Calico should be strong.

Maybe that’s why Kleiner Perkins invested in the company and that Goldman
Sachs is the underwriter of the IPO.


ALL NEW! internet.com’s HotWatch a monthly e-mail subscription for $99,
featuring Internet Stock Report’s top 10 noteworthy Internet stocks for the
month. Each month you will receive in-depth analysis on the top 10 Internet
stocks to watch with the information you need to assess the fast-paced nature
of Internet stocks. Staying on top of market changes in the Internet Stock
market is what counts. For $99 per year, you receive 12 timely issues sent to
you by e-mail. Don’t wait, our next issue will be out before you know it with a
whole new
perspective on the market. Sign up today at: e-newsletters

News Around the Web