December 23, 2016 / 11:46 PM / a year ago

Marketing software firm Yext prepares for 2017 IPO: sources

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Yext, a software startup that helps businesses manage their location-based internet profiles, has hired banks to help prepare for an initial public offering that could come as early as next year, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

Yext will join a wave of software IPOs expected next year, after a dismal 2016 in which only a handful of such companies went public.

New York-based Yext, which has not yet filed for an IPO, has hired Morgan Stanley (MS.N) and JP Morgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) to lead the offering, the sources said.

The sources, who asked not to be named because the matter is private, cautioned that the company’s plans could change. Yext, Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan could not be immediately reached for comment.

    Founded in 2006 by Howard Lerman, who is the company’s chief executive, Yext makes software that keeps track of local listings for businesses. If a store moves location, Yext’s software will update the address change automatically across various internet search platforms, saving time for business owners. Ice cream brand Ben & Jerry‘s, restaurant chain Denny’s Corp (DENN.O) and mobile carrier T-Mobile (TMUS.O) are among its customers, according to its website.

    Yext generated $89 million in revenue in its last fiscal year, a 48 percent increase from a year prior. Early in the year the company said it was on pace to eclipse $100 million in annual revenue.

    The company has more than $100 million in venture funding from backers that include Insight Venture Partners, Marker LLC, Institutional Venture Partners and Sutter Hill Ventures. It last raised $50 million in 2014, valuing it at about $525 million, according to press reports at the time.

    Yext has been expanding in Europe and said earlier this month it hired a senior sales executive from Oracle Corp. (ORCL.N) in Europe to lead expansion efforts there.

    Reporting by Liana B. Baker and Heather Somerville in San Francisco; Additional reporting by Lauren Hirsch in New York; Editing by Leslie Adler

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