Qliktech sale delivers huge returns for Industrifonden

Industrifonden has sold its 6.5 per cent remaining shareholding in Qlik Technologies for SKr780m (€87m).

Lund-based Qliktech sells business intelligence system Qlikview, which analyses and manages accounting and finance data. Founded by Björn Berg and Staffan Gestrelius in 1993, the system was designed to mimic the way the brain works, accessing information from standard database applications and displaying data associatively. By 1999, the company was being used by Tetra-Pak to match products, filling machines and packaging; as well as biopharmaceutical AstraZeneca, which used it to store clinical data. 

Industrifonden invested in Qliktech in 1997, and was joined by Accel Partners and Jerusalem Venture Partners in a $12.5m round in 2004. The company now generates revenues of around SKr1.5bn, with operations in over 100 countries. Its headquarters are located in Radnor, Pennsylvania, but the development office remains in Lund.

Business intelligence company Qliktech listed on Nasdaq in October last year. Together with the previous sale of shareholdings in December 2010, the investment has generated aggregate proceeds of SKr920m. Industrifonden’s total investment in the company was SKr23m, making this deal one of Sweden’s best venture capital investments.

“We are proud and pleased to have played a part in Qliktech’s growth into the successful international company it is today. This is an example of how long-term venture capital can be used to develop a Swedish tech company with global reach,” said Tommy Nilsson, technology investment director at Industrifonden. 

“In addition, it is Industrifonden’s best investment ever,” he continued.

The sale of the shares has been handled by Morgan Stanley.

THE REAL DEAL

QUIETLY EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS

European venture capitalists are always keen to point out successful tech exits such as Skype, MySQL and Betfair, but Qliktech is often overlooked. 

In one of the darkest periods for tech IPOs, the company listed on Nasdaq, raising $112m (€77.3m). Although a modest amount compared with the multi-billion sale of Skype, the company’s shares shot up by 28 per cent on its first day of trading. On the same day, the Nasdaq index dropped by more than three per cent. 

Qliktech grew its customer base from 1,500 in 2005 to more than 13,000 in 2009, and revenues increased from $43m in 2006 to $157m in 2009. “Not many people know that Qliktech was the most successful IPO on Nasdaq last year,” lamented Simon Cook, chief executive of DFJ Esprit.

SUBSCRIPTION REQUIRED

To view the deal details,  or subscribe.