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Intercom hires a CFO as it ramps towards an IPO

TechCrunch logo TechCrunch 8/4/2020 Alex Wilhelm

Today Intercom announced that it has hired a chief financial officer (CFO) as it ramps towards an IPO. The unicorn also promoted its COO to the CEO role earlier this year.

The company's recent CEO, Karen Peacock, told TechCrunch that her new CFO Dan Griggs was a strong candidate thanks to his experience helping take Rocket Fuel public, and for helping execute a "whole business transformation" at Sitecore, where he worked immediately before coming to Intercom.

Intercom is a software startup that sells customer-chat software that works with support and marketing teams. Different tiers of its service allow for automated "conversational" campaigns, and custom bots. The company has raised a hair over $290 million, according to Crunchbase data.

Griggs told TechCrunch that he was not in the market for a new role, but conversations with Peacock drew him in.

Peacock took over the CEO role after around three years as the company's COO, during which time it became known that the preceding CEO had made "unwanted advances" on employees. Intercom company also underwent layoffs before Peacock took over the helm. According to reporting, the firm cut around 6% of its staff in May, a time when many tech companies were trimming personnel due to market uncertainties surrounding COVID-19 and its economic disruptions. (Update: Following publication, Intercom stressed that McCabe earned support from its board after an investigation into the allegations in 2019. During a call, the company also emphasized that an external party had executed the investigation.)

Now Intercom has a refreshed c-suite, and is at IPO scale.

According to TechCrunch reporting at the time when Peacock took over as CEO, Intercom had around $150 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR). The company clarified to TechCrunch that the ARR milestone was reached at the end of its last fiscal year, or the conclusion of January of 2020.

a man wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera © Provided by TechCrunch

Dan Griggs, via the company.

Intercom, Griggs said, is near profitability and is growing in the "strong" double digits. We read that as meaning between 50% and 99% growth, implying the company could close its current fiscal year (January 2021) with $225 million to $298.5 million in ARR, with a bias -- thanks to the laws of large numbers -- towards the smaller figure.

With a CFO with IPO experience on hand, a new CEO, a material revenue base and good growth, when is the IPO? Not soon, sadly. The CFO said his company doesn't need to raise new capital, and that it has enough liquidity today to invest. That's financial-speak for "no rush."

The CEO is on the same page, saying during the same call that Intercom is not in a hurry to go public, and wants to build out some internal infrastructure before executing the transaction. There won't be an IPO for at least twelve months, she estimated.1 (Update: Intercom reached out after publication to clarify that the timeline discussed in our call was imprecise. The IPO is at least two years away.)

Intercom hit some market chop in 2020 and had to spend parts of the last year or so cleaning up internal issues. Now, in theory, it has sorted house, and is operating in a market that has greatly rewarded software startups in recent quarters, especially those helping other companies operate digitally.

Let's see how fast Intercom can grow. We'll get the full retrospective with its eventual S-1.

  1. Alas.
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