Philly Tech People News 9/1/2013

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William Levering Appointed Chief Financial Officer of NextDocs
(OpenView Venture Partners News)

QVC Promotes Alex Miller to Senior Vice President Digital Commerce (PR Newswire)

QVC Promotes Dave Caputo to Senior Vice President TV Production and Operations (PR Newswire)

Echo Therapeutics Announces Management Changes
Robert Doman to Assume Role of Executive Chairman and Interim Chief Executive Officer

(PR Newswire)

Andy Roane Joins Yoh as Vice President of Recruitment Process Outsourcing (Business Wire)

Michael Carroll Named President of Metter Interactive (PR Web)

Penn.-Based PMA Companies Appoints Chief Information Officer (Insurance Journal)

Verizon board to vote Monday on Vodafone deal: sources (Reuters)

Two VC firms, Bessemer & OpenView, offer up analyses of public cloud companies and their valuations

Tom Paine

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Two interesting items from about a month ago which I have meant to mention:

First, VC firm Bessemer Venture Partners released the BVP Cloud Computing Index, and a downloadable chart it says is updated weekly showing the key metrics of 30 leading public cloud computing companies as defined by Bessemer (there is certainly often room for debate about what is or isn't a cloud computing company). No Philly companies are included, although clinical trial software company Medidata Solutions has a fairly large presence dating mostly from its 2008 acquisition of Conshohocken-based Fast Track Systems. Kenexa presumably would have been on it had it not been acquired by IBM, and Radnor-based QlikTech really isn't a cloud computing company at this time; its products are offered primarily through on-premise software. Legacy companies such as SAP AG and Unisys are a long way from being considered pure cloud plays.

One data point in the metrics is the Enterprise Value/Revenue ratio for the 30 companies, which has a median of 6.7x and a mean of 7.9x. So when you hear about SaaS companies doing IPOs with EV/Revenue ratios of 10x or considerably more in some cases, it shouldn't be surprising.

The other item is an article in the Wall Street Journal about Adam Marcus, Managing Director of Boston-based OpenView Venture Partners, the VC firm that has made significant investments in Philly area startups Monetate, NextDocs and Xtium. Marcus compiled a list of 96 public SaaS companies and noted that two-thirds of them are located outside of Silicon Valley.

Marcus finds the Bay Area tech ecosystem expensive, unstable in terms of employee retention and having valuations too high in comparison to other regions, according to the Journal. He said OpenView doesn't invest in San Francisco companies. Perhaps more attractive valuations and less hypercompetition among investors explain in part why OpenView made its trio of investments in the Philadelphia area. Others disagree with Marcus' assessment, pointing out that the most of the more valuable SaaS companies remained clustered in the Bay Area, the article points out.