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May 11, 2011
Each year I ask Kaseya CEO Gerald Blackie the same questions. And each year Blackie gives me essentially the same answers. But the questions are critical so I keep asking them. Our discussion, part of my annual pilgrimage to the Kaseya Connect User Conference, typically covers Kaseya’s growth strategies and managed services efforts. Plus, I always end the Q&A with the same question: Will Kaseya ever pursue an IPO (initial public offering)? This year, my conversation with Blackie also included Kaseya President Mark Sutherland and Chief Marketing Officer Bob Davis. Here’s what they had to say.
Note: All of the information below is paraphrased. It’s base on a conversation I had last week with Blackie, Sutherland and Davis at the Kaseya Connect conference in Las Vegas. Among the topics we covered…
1. State of MSP Relations: Ahead of the event, I alleged that Kaseya and some of its MSP partners had strained relations during portions of 2010. It felt like some MSPs were frustrated with Kaseya product delays, R&D issues and pricing debates. But sometime in early 2011, I sensed that Kaseya was working overtime to address those concerns. Blackie respectfully but directly disagreed with me. He maintained that overall, Kaseya has continued to enjoy strong relations with MSPs.
2. State of SaaS and Cloud: Blackie said Kaseya’s SaaS business had roughly doubled since last year. That’s good progress. But I’m still not sure what percentage of Kaseya’s revenues come from cloud-centric deployments rather than on-premises deployments.
3. State of Financial Software: Kaseya last month unveiled Service Billing 1.0 and Service Desk 1.3 modules. But Kaseya isn’t done with its Kaseya financial software moves. Kaseya last year acquired ObjAcct… Sutherland and Blackie asserted that ObjAcct’s software will allow Kaseya to embed financial capabilities deeper into the K2 platform. An example: MSPs will be able to pinpoint which customer engagements are most profitable and which are money-losers.
4. State of PSA Relations: At the conference, Kaseya demonstrated it’s own, homegrown integration to ConnectWise, and Executive VP Jim Alves discussed forthcoming homegrown integrations to Autotask and Tigerpaw Software. Sutherland predicted numerous additional integrations will surface soon.
5. The March to $1 Billion: Blackie back in 2010 stated that Kaseya was roughly a $100 million company, with a growth opportunity to $1 billion. Blackie has also previously stated that he doesn’t intend to march Kaseya toward an IPO (initial public offering). But I always re-ask that question each time I meet with him… just to see if his mindset remains the same.
Blackie’s answers remain the same:
Kaseya has no plans to launch an IPO;
the company remains profitable and debt-free; and
the march to $1 billion remains very real.
Then, I asked Blackie the same question in a slightly different manner: Would Kaseya launch an IPO if he was no longer CEO? Blackie’s response: He intends to remain CEO, and there are no plans to have him exit the company in preparation for an IPO. (Background: I asked the question because Blackie had a run-in with the SEC while working for a previous company; Blackie admitted no wrongdoing in that previous SEC matter.)
Sutherland reinforced that “No IPO” point with a tongue-in-cheek response: “Even if we fired Gerald we’re not going public.” Instead, Sutherland claims, Kaseya enjoys watching rivals (A) get acquired or (B) pursue IPOs because those paths can make a company lose its focus.
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