Software firm to find its place in the sun

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Lizzie Murphy was on maternity leave at the beginning of 2013 and so didn’t make a share tip for the year.

This year she is tipping high flying software firm WANdisco:

WANdisco has been on a rising path to stardom since its £37m flotation on AIM back in the summer of 2012.

The Sheffield and Silicon Valley-based company, which specialises in software allowing its clients to store and share huge amounts of data, is cashing in on the strong demand for tech businesses.

In September last year (2013), WANdisco raised nearly £20m through a share placing to fund potential acquisitions and take on more staff as the firm continues to win new business.

The company also announced two strategic partnerships in the Big Data sector in 2013.

The first was a product partnership with Hortonworks, one of the world’s biggest suppliers of Enterprise Hadoop software.

The second was a partnership with Cloudera, a leader in enterprise analytic data management.

The company said the deal would give it a significant new route to the market for applications handling collections of data too large for a single computer.

It also launched Git MultiSite, a software solution, based on patented technology, which is designed to eliminate downtime and data loss.

WANdisco’s half-year results at the end of June showed a 20 per cent rise in revenue from $2.9m to $3.5m.

It said its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) loss of $3.3m reflected the investment being made in both the Application Lifecycle Management and Big Data markets.

Booking subscriptions have continued to rise for the firm.

In October it announced that bookings in the third quarter of 2013 rose 120 per cent to £2.8m, driven by further strong subscription growth and accompanied by encouraging early momentum in the Big Data market.

Following its string of new business wins, strategic partnerships and fundraising, 2014 could be an even bigger year for the company, particularly if it follows through with its acquisition plans.

There is a risk that the market will overheat and WANdisco’s bubble will burst, but for the next year at least the firm’s current success shows no sign of slowing down.

The group’s shares closed 2013 at £12.30, which is a massive 198 per cent increase over the course of the year.