Ireland's most highly-valued technology firm, Intercom, is "actively" considering an IPO, according to its CEO.
The customer messaging company, which has leased a new Dublin office with space for almost 800 people, is discussing an IPO as a next step, Eoghan McCabe told the Irish Independent.
"They are real, meaningful, practical conversations internally," he said. "We don't have fixed timelines or fixed outcomes. It's on the menu for us. Before, it was something we aspired to. But now we have the scale and the business in terms of revenue."
Mr McCabe said the company has not yet chosen an investment bank to advise on the process.
He also did not comment on where the company might seek a stock listing. Despite Dublin being its biggest office, Intercom is considered a Silicon Valley firm with a corporate headquarters in San Francisco. Most technology companies in Intercom's position choose the US-based Nasdaq as a primary listing.
Intercom was valued at $1.275bn (€1.14bn) in 2018, when it took its last private funding tranche of $125m (€112m) in a round led by the US venture firm Kleiner Perkins, with Google Ventures also participating. The round made Intercom, co-founded by Ciaran Lee, David Barrett, Des Traynor and Mr McCabe, the most valuable Irish tech company. In all, it has raised $240m (€216m) in funding.
Intercom's main business is a customer messaging platform online. Typically, this can be through dialogue boxes and other techniques. The company is regularly name-checked among Silicon Valley types as an industry standard. Intercom's products are mostly designed and developed in Dublin, with some design also conducted in London and San Francisco. It has 600 employees across its offices.
"We've now passed $150m in annual revenue and have over 30,000 customers globally," said Mr McCabe, adding that large, non-tech businesses such as Aer Lingus and Scottish Power are starting to use the company's online systems more.
"When we look forward, we see that we'll be profitable next year. We're at a point now where we get to think longer term, so things like an IPO are conversations that are actively happening now."
Mr McCabe said that the firm's new office building close to St Stephen's Green in Dublin represents "another big bet" for the company.
"We've taken the whole building," he said. "It can take 800 people and we have a little shy of 300 people in Dublin now. So that has been a way to put our money where our mouth is. Dublin is still where we build the bulk of everything."
He said that while Intercom would be making "hard decisions" in coming weeks over how to respond to the potential disruption from the coronavirus, the company did not want to "overdo it and cause panic".
He also said an HR concern involving a female employee at Intercom which triggered an internal company investigation last year had been resolved. Asked whether the incident had caused lasting damage to him or to Intercom, he responded: "Absolutely not."
"They got the truth," he said, referring to the company investigation. "I'm proud of how we dealt with this."