Anaplan to Go Public With New CFO From Tesla

The company is betting its “connected planning” concept will make it as attractive to investors as other enterprise software offerings have been la...
Matthew HellerSeptember 17, 2018

Former Tesla Chief Accounting Officer Dave Morton has landed a new job as CFO at Anaplan — just in time to help take the enterprise software company public.

Anaplan filed registration papers on Friday for an initial public offering, betting that its “connected planning” concept will make it as attractive to other investors as other cloud software companies have been lately.

Connected planning software helps companies manage their finances, sales and workforce. Anaplan’s customers include Adobe, Dish, Sonos, United Airlines, and Del Monte.

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“We believe connected planning is the next essential cloud category,” Anaplan said in its prospectus, adding that while planning “is typically confined to the finance department.” connected planning “enables dynamic, collaborative, and intelligent planning across all areas of an organization.”

Much of Anaplan’s executive team, including CEO Frank Calderoni and Chief Revenue Officer Steven Birdsal, is new to the company. Even newer is Morton, who resigned from Tesla on Sept. 4 after only a month at the troubled automaker.

“Because of these recent changes, our senior management team, including members of our financial and accounting staff, has not worked at the company for an extended period of time and may not be able to work together effectively to execute our business objectives,” Anaplan warned in its filing.

But Business Insider noted that “as a cloud software company, Anaplan’s revenues are predictable and steady. Companies in its category have soared on the public markets in recent years, and more recently public software-as-a-service companies like DocuSign have seen solid, steady performance on the public markets.”

According to the prospectus, Anaplan’s revenues have more than doubled from $71.5 million in fiscal 2016 to $168.3 million in 2018. Its net loss narrowed to $47.6 million from $54.2 million over the same three-year period.

The worldwide performance management and analytic applications software market is forecast to be approximately $17 billion in 2018 and to grow to $21 billion by 2021. Anaplan sees “a greater opportunity not yet quantified by current market research studies because we are also disrupting numerous manual processes and tools traditionally used in enterprise planning.”