March 25, 2018 / 8:48 PM / 8 months ago

Smartsheet hires banks to prepare for IPO -sources

March 25 (Reuters) - Smartsheet Inc, a U.S. vendor of software used by corporate employees to collaborate on projects, has hired investment banks for an initial public offering (IPO) that could value it at about $1 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

Smartsheet is one of several startups looking to take market share from Microsoft Corp in workplace productivity tools. Others, such as Slack and Atlassian Corp Plc, as well as major technology companies, including Alphabet Inc's Google, Cisco Systems Inc, and Facebook Inc have been releasing similar products.

Smartsheet has hired investment banks Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Jefferies LLC as IPO underwriters, the sources said.

Smartsheet has also registered its IPO confidentially with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the sources added. The company could make this registration public as early as Monday as it gears up for its IPO, which could come in the next three months, according to the sources.

Like many technology companies tapping the stock market, Smartsheet is not yet profitable, one of the sources said.

The sources asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential. Smartsheet, JPMorgan and Jefferies declined to comment, while Morgan Stanley did not respond to a request for comment.

Smartsheet's IPO preparations come as stock market investors show growing appetite for companies in the enterprise technology sector. Atlassian's shares have risen 164 percent since the company's $465 million IPO in December 2015.

Dropbox Inc, another U.S. software company that sells its tools to large companies, saw its shares trade up 35 percent at its stock market debut on Friday, the biggest IPO in the technology sector in more than a year.

Founded in 2005, Smartsheet is based in Bellevue, Washington and counts Cisco and Netflix Inc among its customers. Cisco uses Smartsheet to help manage and track its projects' budgets and timelines, according to Smartsheet's website.

Smartsheet has raised more than $120 million from investors that include Insight Venture Partners, Summit Partners, Madrona Venture Group and Sutter Hill Ventures. It said last year that it would exceed $100 million in annual recurring revenue by the end of 2017, and that its revenue had increased by more than 60 percent year-over-year for the past five years.

Smartsheet's latest private fundraising round was in May 2017, when it said it had amassed $52.1 million from investors. (Reporting by Liana B. Baker in New York; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

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