The Israeli technology company WalkMe today completed the pricing of its initial public offering on Nasdaq when it raised $ 287 million and began trading at a value of $ 2.6 billion. In Wakami.
Walkami was founded in 2011 by Swirey, CEO Dan Adika and Eyal Cohen, who has since retired. The company has developed software that simplifies the use of complex enterprise software. the bank. The original idea was to produce a kind of GPS that works on the site – just as you can turn on GPS anywhere in the world, write an address and get there – the same thing, do on sites. Customers saw the results and asked if we could help with internal systems. Once we got into organizations we realized that in the internal systems there is no information where people are having a hard time, and we developed a very sophisticated analytics. Here we began to develop greatly, to seize volume and grow. So it’s easiest to say that from the beginning we had a great idea, but the truth is that the idea was born from listening to customers and understanding their needs. “
According to Swirey, Walkmi actually gives users a kind of GPS that helps them do some things, and to managements it gives transparency about what is happening in the software and responds to it, within a single system.
Who are your competitors?
“The biggest competition for walkies is the status quo. That is, how organizations operate today – in tutorials, or a video that explains. When it comes to the organization, the question is whether to use old methods or an innovative system. It’s just about their software. In fact, it even strengthens us because organizations see that what we offer is good not just for one application, nor do they give analytics. A third group of competitors is ‘imitators’ of our concept, but usually a large organization is looking for a solution that covers “Mobile, also a desktop, also a web, and also includes analytics – and each of them lacks one of the components. As a general solution, we are the only ones.”
This means that there is also a need for market education.
“Absolutely. After 4 years of work, Gartner is convinced that what we are doing is a new category. They came out with a forecast that 70% of organizations will use a system like ours – which we are currently the only ones able to provide – by the end of 2025. “In the past 3% and since then the market has grown a lot, but it is still in its infancy and there is a lot of potential. Currently, 9 of the 10 largest companies in the world use us, but not in all our systems. There is potential to expand within every existing customer and lots of potential to expand.”
“The company has a number of very large customers, which is not a trivial thing for a start-up. Swiri notes that” our solution is very influential, and when you see the impact it is hard to ignore. Therefore, even if customers did not look for such a solution at first, when they saw the impact, they realized, and this is what allows us to access other large companies, probably in a world that is undergoing a very significant digital transformation. “
How were you affected by the corona?
“On the one hand, in the first 3 months the big projects were frozen and everyone sat on the fence. There were investments in smaller projects. After that, everyone understood that the world did not stop going, and the situation would not change quickly, and returned to invest. I am very proud of the plan “Uncertainty focused on maintaining cash instead of growth, and within a quarter we moved to a positive cash flow from operations, because we reduced expenses on acquiring new customers.”
Subsequently, investment in marketing returned and the cash flow from operations returned to negative. He said, “Demand for products has remained very strong despite the crisis, and once we got back to investing – everything grew.”
When is a net profit expected?
“The company can move to profitability as soon as it wants to, but we have a very big opportunity ahead of us so we are investing wisely to increase the capabilities to sell and reach markets.”
What were the key concerns and key questions asked by potential Broadway investors ahead of the IPO?
“No worries, but the hardest thing for financial entities to understand when you create a new category is who to compare the company to, how to assess what its value is. We had to really explain the problem, to whom it hurts, how Walkmi solves it. It was the main difficulty and also the fun. “The main thing is that it’s a lot of fun to see the reaction when you see the potential. We went to the IPO not for the money – it was easier to raise in the private market – but to gain more awareness and understanding of our industry, and turn it into a marketing event.”
How do you explain the large number of technology offerings that are currently leaving Israel for Wall Street?
“Israel has been blessed with very good software companies. Today, investments in technology outweigh physical investments – when a company wants to improve something chances are it will invest in software and not another machine, so there are many companies in the market. Success leads to success, the big funds are in Israel. “As in the past, and it allows them to grow quickly. Because marketing can be virtual, there is no longer the disadvantage that we had in the past, that we were far from the customer. It is amazing to see what is happening in the Israeli economy, and I am very proud of that.”
What’s Wakami’s next milestone?
“Getting to a point where companies budget the solution in advance and look for the solution of the category we invented. Today, companies come to us when they have a specific problem, and after they see the value they grow with us. The ambition is to come when they already know about the value.”
In conclusion, how do you personally feel after the process?
“First of all, there is a lot of pride. Secondly, there is a lot of responsibility: a lot of investors have come in and we need to make sure they earn and run responsibly. Third thing is the opportunity: we have a tremendous opportunity for us, the workers and the people working with our systems.”
Wakami employees benefit from the offering, hold options?
“Yes. All the employees are part of the options plan. That’s what I’m most proud of. The employees gave the company everything.”