Philly EnterpriseTech Highlights 3/5 & 3/6: Veeva reports billion dollar year & helping customers deal with COVID-19; MeetMe to be acquired for $500M

MSNBC’s Circus Act

Tom Paine

It was another wild week at Comcast NBCU’s MSNBC. It started on Monday night with Chris Matthews announcing he was retiring and then walking off the set during the first break. Matthews, who is 74, was near the end of his run anyway, but NBCU management all but pushed him off the cliff. I’m not so sure the reason was his behavioral idiosyncrasies, but rather that he lacked the ideological purity MSNBC viewers demanded. Remember, he once was a regular guest host on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show.

The funniest thing that happened was Brian William’s journey into the world of advanced mathematics. He figured that Bloomberg’s campaign spending was equal to giving every American citizen $1 million.

Veeva reports another excellent quarter & has 1st billion dollar year; Helping customers deal with COVID-19

Tom Paine

Veeva Systems, which has its headquarters in California but a significant east coast presence based in Radnor, announced its Q4 fiscal 2020 and full year results Tuesday, exceeding a billion dollar annual run rate and beating analyst estimates for revenue and earnings.

Total revenues for the fourth quarter were $311.5 million, up from $232.3 million one year ago, an increase of 34% year-over-year. Fiscal Year 2020 Total Revenues were $1,104.1M, up 28% . Fiscal year 2020 net income was $301.1 million, compared to $229.8 million one year ago, an increase of 31% year-over-year.

For Fiscal 2021, revenues are expected to be within $1.40-$1.41 billion. Adjusted EPS is expected to be $2.50.

Veeva (NYSE: VEEV) has a current market cap of $21.7 billion. Its current share price, $146.54, is still below its all-time high of $176.90 achieved last year.

Veeva’s Paul Shawah, Senior VP Commercial Strategy, also told me that Veeva is aiding life sciences companies’ communications with physicians, which has become more difficult in some places due to the Corona Virus (COVID-19).

In China, for example, people are often being asked to stay at home. This is having a major impact on doctors as it cuts off an important communications channel to the pharma reps and medical professionals they depend on for information on the latest research and treatments. This is especially true for oncologists and cancer treatment. If the pharma industry can’t reach the doctors, they can’t educate them on the latest medicines for their patients

In response to the growing challenge of COVID-19, Veeva is offering a rapid remote detailing enablement program using Veeva CRM Engage Meeting, a web-based video and content sharing platform designed for unique needs of life science companies. This will allow Veeva customers to engage with healthcare providers in a compliant way and ensure continuity of care for patients, whilst avoiding the need to travel or meet in person.

This offer is valid exclusively for Veeva CRM customers not currently using Engage Meeting and for customers wishing to extend their existing Engage Meeting country deployment in other countries not currently using Engage Meeting. This offer does not apply to Engage Meeting licenses already contracted for.

 In just two weeks, nearly 12,000 reps across 6 major pharma companies have taken advantage of this offer and gone live.

Another way in which Veeva can help is by having the other side of Veeva’s business, Veeva Vault, manage clinical trials for life sciences companies with potential therapies or vaccines for the virus using Veeva Vault CDMS. These clinical trials will obviously have a need for speed by streamlining the process while still meeting the regulatory hurdles. But I have no confirmation on specifics for that at this time.

Philly EnterpriseTech Highlights 3/2 to 3/4/20

Trump threatens Comcast: “I’ll do everything possible to destroy their image”

Tech Events Status Changes due to #CoronaVirus: SAP Cancels Sapphire Now And Partner Summit, Plans Digital Events

Updates added as received. (Tweet to @phillytechnews)

Updates added as received. (Tweet to @phillytechnews)

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI), Philadelphia, 3/13/20 – 3/16/20: Monitoring developments but no plans to cancel or postpone at this time.

Questions from Accolade S-1

Tom Paine

See my previous post on Accolade’s IPO filing here.

Accolade, based in Plymouth Meeting and Seattle, submitted an S-1 to the SEC Friday (February 28) outlining plans for an IPO.

Conclusion: Some analysts probably have better information, but from info available to the general public it’s difficult to come up with an intelligent set of metrics for assessing its valuation. Not that it’s a unique case.

Accolade has raised at least $230 million in venture financing according to CrunchBase, and its last known valuation was $620 million according to Pitchbook.

It’s difficult to build a meaningful projected financial model for Accolade. Not enough history, and the economics are skewed by very large customers and high upfront development costs.

Its largest customers, Comcast Cable, Lowe’s and United Airlines, together accounted for 60% of its revenue for its 2019 fiscal year. Comcast alone represented 35% of its revenue for the year.

Customer concentration is a risk factor.

Accolade is not truly a tech company, but a technology-enabled health services company. No matter how much engineering it does, the variable people cost will still be there.

Some other health information companies that originally were full fledge tech firms are now adding more of the human factor in.

Hard to project future gross margins.

Adjusted gross margins were 30.9% in FY 2018 versus 36.4% in FY 2019; These will have to continue to improve..

Financial results for FY 2020 were left empty for now; looks like they might be filled in later (fiscal year ended 2/29)

Comparison: Perhaps the closest “twin” to Accolade is its Plymouth Meeting neighbor Health Advocate. It was snapped up by Omaha-based West Corporation for $265 million in 2014. Then buyout firm Apollo Global Management bought West Corporation (now Intrado Corporation) in 2017. Health Advocate has almost the same number of employees as Accolade, but I haven’t found any breakout of its financials.

Accolade relies on using AWS and Google Cloud for IT processing.

Philly EnterpriseTech Highlights 2/28 to 3/1

Trump threatens Comcast: “I’ll do everything possible to destroy their image”

Tom Paine

Last week Philly EnterpriseTech reported on President Trump’s lengthy Las Vegas diatribe directed at Comcast.

Yesterday he doubled down on it.

“NBC I think is worse than CNN,” Trump said speaking Friday night in South Carolina. “And Comcast, a company that spends millions and millions of dollars on their image – I’ll do everything possible to destroy their image because they are terrible.”

He also reportedly accused Comcast of being racist in a Thursday White House meeting.

What’s going on? We know he felt betrayed by someone at Comcast NBCU leaking his raunchy discussion with Billy Bush during the 2016 campaign.

Trump often tells a.story of how an NBCU exec begged him to sign a new contract for Apprentice, but its not clear whether it was true or if so, when it occurred.

And NBCU said it would cut all ties with Trump after he referred to Mexican immigrants as drug dealers and rapists in announcing his candidacy in 2015.

And also, somewhat understandably, he resents the way both MSNBC and NBC News covers him. I’ve always been willing to defend Trump from unwarranted criticism, and there’s been plenty of it.

But the bitterness of his more recent comments reflect something deeper. I’m curious if anything else is going on behind the scenes.

Comcast has refused comment on Trump’s attacks. I doubt Comcast wants to get into a political war with Trump; it might come out the loser. But I do think it has grounds to fight back, based on the attempted damage to its brand and Trump’s stated threat of further damage in the future..

Its gone too far.

Accolade files S-1 for IPO

Tom Paine

Accolade Inc. today filed an S-1 with the SEC for a planned IPO. The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the offering have not yet been determined. Accolade intends to list its common stock on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol ACCD.  

Here’s the S-1:

Accolade offers a service usually provided to enterprises that helps guide their employees through the healthcare maze to get the care that they need. Comcast is a major customer, by itself accounting for 35% of Accolade revenue in 2019.

Accolade is jointly based in Philly (Plymouth Meeting) and Seattle. The plurality of employees (about 500) are based in Plymouth Meeting, according to. LinkedIn, out of 1174 total as of November 30, 2019 as reported by the company. Investors include Andreessen Horowitz, Carrick Capital Partners, Madrona Venture Group, McKesson Ventures, and Humana.

 Revenue is up more than 47 percent so far this year: $88.1 million for the nine months ended in November 2019, with a net loss of $49.2 million for the same period. Its fiscal year ends this month.

Accolades’ last stated valuation was around $620 million. The $100 million target for the IPO mentioned in the filing is merely a placeholder.

Tom Spann was the Founding CEO of Accolade. Now it is headed by CEO Rajeev Singh, who cofounded SaaS travel expense tracker Concur and sold it to SAP for $8.3 billion in2014.

Philly EnterpriseTech Highlights 2/26 to 2/27: Salesforce; Passage Bio; Invite Media

New: Sidecar growing by adding new channels