As It Aims to Go Public, Seismic Taps Former ServiceNow Exec as CFO

Seismic, one of San Diego’s most prominent enterprise software companies, has tapped a member of the team behind one of the region’s most successful tech startup stories to prep for its own prospective market debut.

The software developed by Seismic, part of the relatively new sales enablement industry, helps marketing and sales teams manage, automate and distribute personalized sales materials. The company’s 500 customers include American Express (NYSE: AXP), PayPal, (NASDAQ: PYPL), and Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX).

Last month, Seismic recently told Xconomy, the company hired its first chief financial officer. San Diego native John McCauley was part of a small group that led the 2012 IPO of IT management software giant ServiceNow—the first major tech firm to follow Facebook’s entry into the public market earlier that year.

Unlike Facebook’s debut, the ServiceNow (NYSE: NOW) launch was a resounding success, raising roughly $210 million. The stock jumped 29 percent on the first day of trading.

“I’ve gone through the motions, done an IPO being [ServiceNow CFO Michael Scarpelli’s] righthand man, [and] now is my opportunity to step it up,” McCauley said.

In making a move towards the public markets, Seismic is looking to take advantage of significant investor interest in enterprise software-as-a-service (SaaS). As of July, the amount of venture capital funding invested in SaaS businesses in 2018 topped $12 billion, according to data compiled by analytics firm Pitchbook for Xconomy. That puts the sector on track to beat out the $22 billion invested in 2015—the biggest year for SaaS investment since at least 2006, according to the Pitchbook data.

German software giant SAP (NYSE: SAP) recently spent $8 billion to acquire Qualtrics in what research firm CB Insights called the largest ever exit via acquisition for a VC-backed enterprise software company.

McCauley began his career as an auditor at San Diego’s EY office, but left the firm for a position at Illumina (NASDAQ: ILMN) during a period of rapid growth for the San Diego-based maker of DNA sequencers. There, as the publicly traded genomics company grew from about $300 million to more than $1 billion in revenue, he managed its SEC reporting and compliance efforts and, later, investor relations.

In 2011, he went to work for ServiceNow, which was based in San Diego at the time but after going public relocated its headquarters to Santa Clara, CA. McCauley moved to the Bay Area along with it. … Next Page »

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Sarah de Crescenzo is an Xconomy editor based in San Diego. You can reach her at sdecrescenzo@xconomy.com. Follow @sarahdc

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