BlackLine Enters the Market With a Bang

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BlackLine Inc. (NASDAQ: BL) entered the market with a bang after pricing above the high end of its expected price range. Out of all the initial public offerings that happened this past week, BlackLine was by far the most successful, even beating out the highly anticipated Chinese shipping company, ZTO Express.

As for BlackLine, the company priced its 8.6 million shares at $17 above the expected range of $13 to $15 per share, with an overallotment option for an additional 1.29 million shares. At this price level the entire offering is valued up to $168.13 million. However the stock actually entered the market well above this, near the $24 mark, shattering expectations.

This company has created a comprehensive cloud-based software platform designed to transform and modernize accounting and finance operations for organizations of all types and sizes. Its secure, scalable platform supports critical accounting processes such as the financial close, account reconciliation, intercompany accounting and controls assurance. By introducing software to automate these processes and to enable them to function continuously, BlackLine is enhancing real-time visibility into their operations.

Critical accounting and finance processes underlie the integrity of an organization’s financial reports. The lack of effective accounting and finance tools can result in inefficient and cumbersome processes and, in some cases, accounting errors, restatements and write-offs, as well as material weaknesses and significant deficiencies. Traditional enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems do not generally provide effective solutions for processes handled outside of an organization’s general ledger, such as balance sheet account reconciliation, intercompany transaction accounting and the broader financial close process.

Many organizations also use multiple ERPs and other financial systems without a platform to efficiently integrate them. As a result, to manage these tasks organizations rely on spreadsheets and other labor-intensive processes that are unsuited for the increasing regulatory complexity and transaction volumes encountered by many modern businesses.

The company detailed its finances as follows:

We have experienced significant revenue growth and adoption of our platform in recent periods. For the years ended December 31, 2014 and 2015, we had revenues of $51.7 million and $83.6 million, respectively, and we incurred net losses of $16.8 million and $24.7 million, respectively. For the six months ended June 30, 2015 and 2016, we had revenues of $37.5 million and $55.6 million, respectively, and we incurred net losses of $10.8 million and $16.9 million, respectively.

BlackLine intends to use the net proceeds from this offering to repay the entire outstanding balance under its credit facility and for general corporate purposes, including working capital, research and development activities, sales and marketing activities, general and administrative matters and capital expenditures and to fund our growth plans.

Shares of BlackLine closed Friday up 39% at $23.70, with a trading range of $23.00 to $25.75 on the day and over 7.4 shares moving in this time.

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