May
11
2021
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Jamf snags zero trust security startup Wandera for $400M

Jamf, the enterprise Apple device management company, announced that it was acquiring Wandera, a zero trust security startup, for $400 million at the market close today. Today’s purchase is the largest in the company’s history.

Using a set of management services for Apple devices, Jamf provides IT at large organizations. It is the leader in the market, and snagging Wandera provides a missing modern security layer for the platform.

Jamf CEO Dean Hager says that Wandera’s zero trust approach fills in an important piece in the Jamf platform tool set. “The combination of Wandera and Jamf will provide our customers a single source platform that handles deployment, application lifecycle management, policies, filtering and security capabilities across all Apple devices while delivering zero trust network access for all mobile workers,” Hager said in a statement.

Zero trust, as the name implies, is an approach to security where you don’t trust anybody regardless of whether they are inside or outside your network. It requires that you force everyone to provide multiple forms of authentication to prove their identity before they can access company resources.

The need for a zero trust approach became even more acute during the pandemic when employees have often been working from home and have needed access to applications and other company resources from wherever they happened to be, a trend that was happening even prior to COVID, and is likely to continue after it ends.

Wandera, which is based in London, was founded in 2012 by brothers Roy and Eldar Tuvey, who had previously co-founded another security startup called ScanSafe. Cisco acquired that company, which helped protect web gateways as a service, for $183 million back in 2009. The brothers raised over $53 million along the way for Wandera. Investors included Bessemer Venture Partners, 83North and Sapphire Ventures.

Sapphire co-founder and managing director Andreas Weiskam had this to say about the company: “I’ve had the pleasure of working with co-founders (and brothers) Eldar Tuvey and Roy Tuvey for the last several years now and I can honestly say they’re great entrepreneurs and leaders, having built a real company of consequence.”

He added, “They’ve created a unique security product which addresses mobile threats by leveraging the increasingly important zero trust network. By joining the Jamf family, the two will help shape the future of the zero trust cloud. And it goes without saying that this is a big win for the customers, especially for those in the Apple ecosystem.”

Under the terms of the deal, Jamf is paying Wandera $350 million in cash, then paying them two $25 million payments on October 1, 2021 and December 15, 2021. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter, assuming it passes regulatory scrutiny.

 

Jul
20
2020
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Jamf ups its IPO range, now targets a valuation of up to $2.7B

Today Jamf, a software company that helps other firms manage their Apple devices, raised its IPO price range.

The company had previously targeted a $17 to $19 per-share range. A new SEC filing from the firm today details a far higher $21 to $23 per-share IPO price interval.

Jamf still intends to sell up to 18.4 million shares in its debut, including 13.5 million in primary stock, 2.5 million shares from existing shareholders and an underwriter option worth 2.4 million shares. The whole whack at $21 to $23 per share would tally between $386.4 million and $423.2 million, though not all those funds would flow to the company.

At the low and high-end of its new IPO range, Jamf is worth between $2.44 billion and $2.68 billion, steep upgrades from its prior valuation range of $1.98 billion to $2.21 billion.

Jamf follows in the footsteps of recent IPOs like nCino, Vroom and others in seeing demand for its public offering allow its pricing to track higher the closer it gets to its public offering. Such demand from public-market investors indicates there is ample demand for debut shares in mid-2020, a fact that could spur other companies to the exit market.

Coinbase, Airbnb and DoorDash are three such companies that are expected to debut in the next year’s time, give or take a quarter or two.

Results, multiples

In anticipation of the Jamf debut that should come this week, let’s chat about the company’s recent performance.

Observe the following table from the most-recent Jamf S-1/A:

From even a quick glance we can learn much from this data. We can see that Jamf is growing, has improving gross margins and has managed to swing from an operating loss to operating profit in Q2 2020, compared to Q2 2019. And, for you fans out there of adjusted metrics, that Jamf managed to generate more non-GAAP operating income in its most recent period than the year-ago quarter.

In more precise terms:

  • Jamf grew from 26.5% to 29.0% on a year-over-year basis in Q2 2020
  • Its gross margin grew by 6% in gross terms, and 8.3% in relative terms
  • Its non-GAAP operating income grew 123.4%, to 150.9% in Q2 2020 compared to the year-ago quarter

Profits! Growth! Software! Improving margins! It’s not a huge surprise that Jamf managed to bolster its IPO price range.

Finally, for the SaaS-heads out there, the following:

This data lets us have a little fun. Recall that we have seen possible valuations for Jamf at IPO that started at $1.98 billion to $2.21 billion, and now include $2.44 billion and $2.68 billion? With our two ARR ranges for the end of Q2, we can now come up with eight ARR multiples for Jamf, from the low-end of its initial IPO price estimate, to the top-end of its new range.

Here they are:

  • Multiple at $1.98 billion valuation and $238 million ARR: 8.3x
  • Multiple at $1.98 billion valuation and $241 million ARR: 8.2x
  • Multiple at $2.21 billion valuation and $238 million ARR: 9.3x
  • Multiple at $2.21 billion valuation and $241 million ARR: 9.2x
  • Multiple at $2.44 billion valuation and $238 million ARR: 10.3x
  • Multiple at $2.44 billion valuation and $241 million ARR: 10.1x
  • Multiple at $2.68 billion valuation and $238 million ARR: 11.3x
  • Multiple at $2.68 billion valuation and $241 million ARR: 11.2x

From that perspective, the pricing changes feel a bit more modest, even if they work out to a huge spread on a valuation basis.

Regardless, this is the current state of the Jamf IPO. Rackspace also filed a new S-1/A today, but we can’t find anything useful in it. A bit like the Jamf S-1/A from Friday. Perhaps we’ll get a new Rackspace document soon with pricing notes.

And, of course, like the rest of the world we await the Palantir S-1 with bated breath. Consider that our white whale.

Jun
30
2020
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Apple device management company Jamf files S-1 as it prepares to go public

Jamf, the Apple device management company, filed to go public today. Jamf might not be a household name, but the Minnesota company has been around since 2002 helping companies manage their Apple equipment.

In the early days, that was Apple computers. Later it expanded to also manage iPhones and iPads. The company launched at a time when most IT pros had few choices for managing Macs in a business setting.

Jamf changed that, and as Macs and other Apple devices grew in popularity inside organizations in the 2010s, the company’s offerings grew in demand. Notably, over the years Apple has helped Jamf and its rivals considerably, by building more sophisticated tooling at the operating system level to help manage Macs and other Apple devices inside organizations.

Jamf raised approximately $50 million of disclosed funding before being acquired by Vista Equity Partners in 2017 for $733.8 million, according to the S-1 filing. Today, the company kicks off the high-profile portion of its journey towards going public.

Apple device management takes center stage

In a case of interesting timing, Jamf is filing to go public less than a week after Apple bought mobile device management startup Fleetsmith. At the time, Apple indicated that it would continue to partner with Jamf as before, but with its own growing set of internal tooling, which could at some point begin to compete more rigorously with the market leader.

Other companies in the space managing Apple devices besides Jamf and Fleetsmith include Addigy and Kandji. Other more general offerings in the mobile device management (MDM) space include MobileIron and VMware Airwatch among others.

Vista is a private equity shop with a specific thesis around buying out SaaS and other enterprise companies, growing them, and then exiting them onto the public markets or getting them acquired by strategic buyers. Examples include Ping Identity, which the firm bought in 2016 before taking it public last year, and Marketo, which Vista bought in 2016 for $1.8 billion and sold to Adobe last year for $4.8 billion, turning a tidy profit.

Inside the machine

Now that we know where Jamf sits in the market, let’s talk about it from a purely financial perspective.

Jamf is a modern software company, meaning that it sells its digital services on a recurring basis. In the first quarter of 2020, for example, about 83% of its revenue came from subscription software. The rest was generated by services and software licenses.

Now that we know what type of company Jamf is, let’s explore its growth, profitability and cash generation. Once we understand those facets of its results, we’ll be able to understand what it might be worth and if its IPO appears to be on solid footing.

We’ll start with growth. In 2018 Jamf recorded $146.6 million in revenue, which grew to $204.0 million in 2019. That works out to an annual growth rate of 39.2%, a more than reasonable pace of growth for a company going public. It’s not super quick, mind, but it’s not slow either. More recently, the company grew 36.9% from $44.1 million in Q1 2019 to $60.4 million in revenue in Q1 2020. That’s a bit slower, but not too much slower.

Turning to profitability, we need to start with the company’s gross margins. Then we’ll talk about its net margins. And, finally, adjusted profits.

Gross margins help us understand how valuable a company’s revenue is. The higher the gross margins, the better. SaaS companies like Jamf tend to have gross margins of 70% or above. In Jamf’s own case, it posted gross margins of 75.1% in Q1 2020, and 72.5% in 2019. Jamf’s gross margins sit comfortably in the realm of SaaS results, and perhaps even more importantly are improving over time.

Getting behind the curtain

When all its expenses are accounted for, the picture is less rosy, and Jamf is unprofitable. The company’s net losses for 2018 and 2019 were similar, totalling $36.3 million and $32.6 million, respectively. Jamf’s net loss improved a little in Q1, falling from $9.0 million in 2019 to $8.3 million this year.

The company remains weighed down by debt, however, which cost it nearly $5 million in Q1 2020, and $21.4 million for all of 2019. According to the S-1, Jamf is sporting a debt-to-equity ratio of roughly 0.8, which may be a bit higher than your average public SaaS company, and is almost certainly a function of the company’s buyout by a private equity firm.

But the company’s adjusted profit metrics strip out debt costs, and under the heavily massaged adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) metric, Jamf’s history is only one of rising profitability. From $6.6 million in 2018 to $20.8 million in 2019, and from $4.3 million in Q1 2019 to $5.6 million in Q1 2020. with close to 10% adjusted operating profit margins through YE 2019.

It will be interesting to see how the company’s margins will be affected by COVID, with financials during the period still left blank in this initial version of the S-1. The Enterprise market in general has been reasonably resilient to the recent economic shock, and device management may actually perform above expectations given the growing push for remote work.

Completing the picture

Something notable about Jamf is that it has positive cash generation, even if in Q1 it tends to consume cash that is made up for in other quarters. In 2019, the firm posted $11.2 million in operational cash flow. That’s a good result, and better than 2018’s $9.4 million of operating cash generation. (The company’s investing cash flows have often run negative due to Jamf acquiring other companies, like ZuluDesk and Digita.)

With Jamf, we have a SaaS company that is growing reasonably well, has solid, improving margins, non-terrifying losses, growing adjusted profits, and what looks like a reasonable cash flow perspective. But Jamf is cash poor, with just $22.7 million in cash and equivalents as of the end of Q1 2020 — some months ago now. At that time, the firm also had debts of $201.6 million.

Given the company’s worth, that debt figure is not terrifying. But the company’s thin cash balance makes it a good IPO candidate; going public will raise a chunk of change for the company, giving it more operating latitude and also possibly a chance to lower its debt load. Indeed Jamf notes that it intends to use part of its IPO raise to “to repay outstanding borrowings under our term loan facility…” Paying back debt at IPO is common in private equity buyouts.

So what?

Jamf’s march to the public markets adds its name to a growing list of companies. The market is already preparing to ingest Lemonade and Accolade this week, and there are rumors of more SaaS companies in the wings, just waiting to go public.

There’s a reasonable chance that as COVID-19 continues to run roughshod over the United States, the public markets eventually lose some momentum. But that isn’t stopping companies like Jamf from rolling the dice and taking a chance going public.

Jun
24
2020
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Apple has acquired Fleetsmith, a startup that helps IT manage Apple devices remotely

At a time when IT has to help employees set up and manage devices remotely, a service that simplifies those processes could certainly come in handy. Apple recognized that, and acquired Fleetsmith today, a startup that helps companies do precisely that with Apple devices.

While Apple didn’t publicize the acquisition, it has confirmed the deal with TechCrunch, while Fleetsmith announced the deal in a company blog post. Neither company was sharing the purchase price.

The startup has built technology that takes advantage of Apple’s Device Enrollment Program, allowing IT departments to bring devices online as soon as the employee takes it out of the box and powers it up.

At the time of its $30 million Series B funding last year, CEO Zack Blum explained the company’s core value proposition: “From a customer perspective, they can ship devices directly to their employees. The employee unwraps it, connects to Wi-Fi and the device is enrolled automatically in Fleetsmith,” Blum explained at that time.

Over time, the company has layered on other useful pieces beyond automating device registration, like updating devices automatically with OS and security updates, while letting IT see a dashboard of the status of all devices under management, all in a pretty slick interface.

While Apple will in all likelihood continue to work with Jamf, the leader in the Apple device management space, this acquisition gives the company a remote management option at a time when it’s essential with so many employees working from home.

Fleetsmith, which has raised more than $40 million from investors, like Menlo Ventures, Tiger Global Management, Upfront Ventures and Harrison Metal, will continue to sell the product through the company website, according to the blog post.

The founders put a happy face on the deal, as founders tend to do. “We’re thrilled to join Apple. Our shared values of putting the customer at the center of everything we do without sacrificing privacy and security, means we can truly meet our mission, delivering Fleetsmith to businesses and institutions of all sizes, around the world,” they wrote.

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