Enterprise security company Good Technology hopes to raise $US100 million in an IPO, according to documents filed Wednesday with the SEC.
Should the IPO be a hit, it will mark one of the longest, craziest corporate journeys we’ve ever heard of, filled with big wins and big disappointments along the way.
Today, Good Technology is known for its enterprise mobile security products, which helps enterprise track and protect fleets of smartphones and tablets. It’s a hot field and many of Good’s competitors have been swallowed up in acquisitions, including VMware’s purchase of Airwatch in January for $US1.54 billion.
Good is perhaps most famous for Trae Vassallo, the powerhouse venture capitalist at Kleiner Perkins. Vassallo was one of its cofounders, although she was basically dismissed from the company back in 2002.
Good was founded in 2000 as a company called SpringThings, changing its name to Good Technology after it launched an email reader competitor to then super-hot company Research In Motion.
But after the Internet bubble burst, the company decided to ditch the device. Vassallo described it last year in an interview with Standford’s business school.
At the end of 2002, it was nuclear winter from the economy perspective. As a cofounder at Good and a hardware product designer, I was leading strategy on the hardware side of the business. It became clear to me and the management team that in order to survive, we had to make the tough decision to focus on software and stop making hardware. That meant I was out of a job. Going from being a founder to being let go is really humbling. You are left reeling.
Kleiner Perkins’ John Doerr was on Good’s board and asked Vassallo what her plans were. She offered to help him evaluate startups and worked her way up to partner from there.
Good kept plugging along and in November 2006, Motorola bought it for somewhere between $US400 million and $US540 million.
It didn’t stay a happy exit for long. In 2009, Motorola sold it off to a company called Visto for an undisclosed sum.
The tech press had not been kind to Visto, also an email company. VentureBeat called it “Silicon Valley’s most controversial company” for raising $US350 million in venture capital and for “its repeated, failed attempts to go public.”
Visto renamed itself Good Technology.
In 2012, Good went through another shakeup. Susan Vinci-Lucero, a former vice president of marketing, sued the company, alleging she was fired for having breast cancer. The company denied those allegations. The case has been resolved, her lawyer confirmed, though would not comment on whether the case was settled or dismissed.
Shortly after that, at the start of 2013, Good’s CEO King Lee was replaced by former Motorola executive Christy Wyatt. They paid her a $US400,000 base salary, a $US300,000 signing bonus, and stock options valued at over $US19 million that vest over five years, the S1 reveals.
She promptly shook up the management staff and by year’s end raised $US65 million in private equity investment.
And now the company is in the IPO hunt.
As for Good’s financials from the S1: Good grew revenues from $US117 million in 2012 to $US160 million in 2013, and posted a loss of -$90 million in 2012 and -$118 million in 2013. Much of that loss was from sales and marketing, which cost $US113 million in 2013.
Vassallo’s name isn’t mentioned in the S1 as a stakeholder. We reached out to ask her how it felt to see Good go for an IPO so many years after she helped launch it, but she could not be reached for comment.
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