June 18, 2024
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AppFolio files for $100M IPO


Appfolio co-founder Klaus Schauser will be honored at The South Coast Business & Technology Awards in June. (Stephen Nellis photo)

AppFolio co-founder Klaus Schauser (Stephen Nellis photo)


Goleta-based AppFolio filed with U.S. regulators May 18 for an initial public offering.

The developer of cloud-based property management software listed $100 million as the initial fundraising target, however the size the IPO could change. The company did not stipulate how many shares it plans to sell.

The move comes on the heels of San Luis Obispo headquartered wellness software maker Mindbody’s IPO filing, which the company announced last week.

AppFolio provides a cloud-based software platform for small and medium-sized businesses in the property management and legal industries. In April the company acquired RentLinx, a San Diego-based property management software startup and the company’s first-ever acquisition, for $4 million.

While company CEO Brian Donahoo previously told the Business Times the RentLinx deal shouldn’t be seen as a challenge to South Coast property management neighbor Yardi, which services accounts at the higher end of the market, the IPO does put an acquisition price on AppFolio and should draw the attention of other major players such as Texas-based RealPage.

“We really just want to bring more value to our customers,” Donahoo told the Business Times in April. “[Our software] needs to be priced and packaged in a way they can consume it. It needs to be out-of-the-box easy to use, and I think that’s where we are significantly different [from Yardi].”

AppFolio was conceived by those previously behind Citrix Online and Versora and was eventually founded in 2006. Though it has focused on building online business software for property managers, it also has a product called SecureDocs, a “virtual data room.”

“Our customers buy this base software that helps them manage their business, and then they can also add a lot of other value-plus services, like for processing payments,” Donahoo previously told the Business Times. “In the long run, RentLinx will have a portal like that where customers who need assistance will add the RentLinx platform to their AppFolio purchase.

Following on the RentLinx deal, AppFolio’s move to go public could be the setup for a string of acquisitions that would broaden the company’s software portfolio.

At the center of AppFolio Business System is a common technology platform, but part of the company’s growth strategy going forward is accessing new markets and new verticals. Prior to the RentLinx acquisition, the company purchased MyCase, a company that developed a practice and case management software solution for the legal market in 2012.

While the company’s revenues have grown, AppFolio is still operating at a loss. With revenues of $47.7 million in 2014, up 80 percent from the previous year, the company recorded a loss of $8.6 million. For the most recent quarter the company posted a loss of $3.6 million.

According to the company’s securities filings, the firm intends to continue to invest heavily in the business to capitalize on market opportunity.

In March, AppFolio entered into a $12.5 million five-year term loan and revolving credit facility with Wells Fargo Bank, which matures in 2020. As of March 31, 2015, the company had cash and cash equivalents totaling $12 million.

Principal stockholders in the company include Investment Group of Santa Barbara, which owns 33.9 percent of the company and BV Capital, now known as e.ventures, which owns 14.5 percent. Timothy Bliss, a partner at IGSB and director for the company, owns 36.5 percent.

None of the existing shareholders indicated they will be cashing out from the initial public offering.