Meet Marketo, On Track To Be The Next Hot Enterprise IPO

Phil FernandezPhil Fernandez

Photo: Marketo

Keep your eye on this growth-stage startup, Marketo. It hasn’t filed its S-1 documents yet, but unless a suitor comes along with a mongo offer, it’s headed for an IPO and soon.And it’s entirely possible that a big enterprise vendor will do just that.  Marketo sells software-as-a-service that boosts a company’s sales. Who doesn’t want more sales?

It taps social media, analytics, and website traffic data to find prospects and then reels them in to interact with the company until they buy.

While it’s not a direct competitor to a Buddy Media (just bought by for $689 million or a Vitrue (just bought by Oracle reportedly for $300 million) it’s in the same niche.

We met with co-founder and CEO Phil Fernandez to discuss Marketo’s remarkable growth over the past four years.

It has:

  • Raised $107 million in venture capital
  • Hired 350 employees
  • Signed 2,000 customers including Intel, Buddy Media, LinkedIn, PayPal, and McKesson
  • Earned $33 million in subscription revenue in 2011, up from $14 million the previous year. In 2009, it was “negligible,” Fernandez told us.

“We’ll double revenue again this current year,” he said. “We are building a company on an IPO track. We’re not on file but we’re not far away.”

He says he gets asked all the time why Salesforce hasn’t bought Marketo yet. Short answer is that Marketo would be priced really high. Long answer, he’s already taken two other companies public in his career (Red Brick Systems and Epiphany) and really wants to do it again.

Judging at how hot the social sales market is, and the deep roots Marketo has, investors are going to love it when he does.

And this is his baby.

“I coded the first version of Marketo,” he says, even though at the time he hadn’t written a line of code in 15 years.

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