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Originally published April 2, 2013 at 9:44 PM | Page modified April 3, 2013 at 6:09 AM

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Tableau Software files to go public, seeks up to $150 million

The Seattle company wants to raise up to $150 million in an initial public offering for a wide range of general purposes, including fast growth and possible investments or acquisitions. Its IPO price will not be decided until just before it goes public.

Seattle Times business reporter

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Tableau Software, a data-analysis firm based near the J.P. Patches statue in Fremont, plans to go public.

The company wants to raise up to $150 million in an initial public offering for a wide range of general purposes, including fast growth and possible investments or acquisitions. Its IPO price will not be decided until just before it goes public.

Tableau was founded by three people still with the company, most notably Stanford University Professor Pat Hanrahan, who is better known for developing Pixar movie technology. He’s won two Academy Awards.

The intellectual property was spun out of Stanford in 2003, and the firm moved to Seattle shortly afterward.

Tableau’s software “puts the power of data into the hands of everyday people,” the company said Tuesday in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

The presentation is what’s unique to Tableau — graphics designed to show anyone, from executives to customers, information in an easy-to-understand way. One example would be information Safeway has gleaned from Club Card customers.

And the “everyday people” often work at big companies such as Tableau clients DuPont, Nike, American Airlines and Deloitte Consulting.

Tuesday’s filing showed company revenues have more than tripled in the past two years to $127.7 million, and its profit last year dropped to $1.6 million from $3.4 million a year earlier.

The company has $39.3 million in cash, which has been growing.

The firm’s expenses have increased as it grew from 188 to 749 workers from 2010 to 2012.

Besides Hanrahan, Tableau’s other two founders are CEO Christian Chabot and Chief Development Officer Christopher Stolte, each of whom was paid $2.5 million last year, including stock options.

Twelve officers and directors own about 87 percent of the company, including 15 percent each by Chabot and Stolte and 18 percent by Hanrahan.

“We intend to continue to aggressively grow our business. For example, we plan to continue to hire new employees at a rapid pace, particularly in our sales and engineering groups,” Tableau said in its filing.

The company competes in the “business analytics software” market, which has annual sales estimated at $35 billion.

Spending on intelligence tools within that market was $13 billion last year, according to International Data Corp., not including hardware, support and services.

“We believe the limitations of traditional approaches coupled with the demand for business analytics has presented an opportunity to pioneer a new class of business analytics software,” Tableau said in the filing.

Tableau seeks to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange, with the ticker symbol DATA.

The last high-profile IPO in the Seattle area was real-estate website Zillow, which went public in July 2011.

Atossa Genetics, a Seattle breast-cancer diagnostics company, had an IPO last November

Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are the lead underwriters in the deal.

Melissa Allison: 206-464-3312 or mallison@seattletimes.com. Twitter @AllisonSeattle.

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