“Going public is a financing event that defines the beginning, not the end.”
Is a successful IPO a matter of luck, or skill? It’s not hard to find executives who’ve led companies through successful IPOs. But sometimes, you wonder, “Could they do it again? Were they just lucky, or is there a science to going public?”
Keith Krach, who just helped lead the successful DocuSign IPO, is living proof that strong, visionary leaders can intentionally engineer winning IPOs. Keith’s repeatable playbook for IPO success has enabled him to bring companies public and build tremendous shareholder value, again, and again, and again.
Check out the Keith Krach IPO track record: In 1999, Keith led Ariba, the B2B e-Commerce company he founded, through one of the most successful IPOs in history. Ariba shares increased 300% on its first day of trading, resulting in a company valuation of over $6 billion. In 2011, as Board Chairman for Angie’s List, Keith led the company through an IPO that saw opening day share prices increase 39%, and valuation climb to $900 million.
Most recently, in April, 2018, DocuSign, a company Keith led for many years as CEO, and where he currently serves as Board Chairman, raised $629 million in a successful IPO, increasing company valuation to $4.41 billion.
Keith has played a leading role on the advisory boards of other companies that have completed successful public offerings: Coupa, Ooma, and Box. Keith was the first Advisory Board member at Aaron Levie’s Box.
A Keith Krach IPO is built on Keith’s Built-To-Last philosophy—universal principles that include building high-performance teams, creating and dominating new market categories, driving customer-focused innovation, financing through strategic partnerships, building trusted relationships, creating a company playbook that everyone can follow, building strong network effects, and designing the business around a noble mission. Follow the links below to learn more about Keith’s principles for IPO success.
Keith’s 5 Things to Remember: Going Public
- Going public isn’t a decision that can be taken lightly. Make sure you’ve thought through your growth strategy and competitive differentiation and be ready to answer pointed questions on these topics from potential investors. Be able to succinctly answer these 5 key questions all in one slide: Why is this a big unserved market? Why are we winning? Why will we continue to win? Why will we be extremely profitable? What is your second act?
- Your board members will become much more visible once you’re public, so start early recruiting public-experienced candidates early, with well known expertise in critical areas such as cyber security, governance, audit, strategic positioning, innovating at scale and future target markets.
- If you’re unsure how your company will fare in an IPO, the JOBS Act now gives you the opportunity to file confidentially to receive feedback from the SEC and potential investors before making your filing official.
- The most important thing is predictability. Don’t go unless you have strong revenue visibility, backlog and you have practiced beat and raise earnings calls for at least 4 quarters.
- Don’t jump at the first investment bank that comes knocking at your door. Do your homework by making sure you understand their proposed deal structure and their analysts track record with prior companies they have IPO’d. Also, have them interview for the job by role-playing your IPO pitch and you get to keep all their powerpoint slides.