Qlik announced at the beginning of June that it has entered into an agreement with private equity firm Thoma Bravo to be acquired by them for ~3 billion USD. Qlik, founded in 1993 in Lund, Sweden and now headquartered in Radnor, PA, USA has become one of the major BI vendors in the last 15 years: It currently has 2,000 employees, 39,000 customers and 1,700 partners in more than 100 countries, making 612 million USD revenue in 2015. This values Qlik at about 5x revenue and at a similar enterprise value to Tableau, which has surpassed Qlik with very strong growth in recent years, reaching 695 million USD revenue in 2015, but also suffering a 50% stock price plummet in February 2016.
Qlik has appeared to be for sale for a while and the move to de-list from the stock market and become owned by a PE company has become quite normal amongst software vendors: Tibco, Informatica and more recently Dell Software are other prominent examples.
Qlik’s stock price has remained between 20 and 40 USD for the last 5 years – basically going sideways despite its revenue growth during that period – so its frequent interactions with financial analysts and its large number of shareholders were probably not too pleasant. Qlik has faced some serious challenges in recent years, both organizationally and on the product and marketing side with the transformation from its first product generation (QlikView) to the second generation Qlik Sense. Qlik has returned to calmer waters in the last year since the release of Qlik Sense 2.0 in mid 2015. But its complete transformation to a Cloud software-oriented company is still ongoing, and the freedom to take decisions without the added scrutiny of the stock market might help to re-focus Qlik on business priorities and push it into new areas.