Marcus Ryu, CEO of Guidewire Software Inc, is very happy with the yesterday’s events. After announcing its initial public offering and opening at $13 a share, Guidewire Software’s (GWRE) stock rose 31.7 percent to close the day at $17.12 a share on the New York Stock Exchange. “It’s only the first day,” he told INN, “but it was very encouraging.”
While the plan was to sell 7.5 million shares, the company sold 8.85 million shares in light of the intensity of demand, Ryu said. “It exceeded our expectations.”
But, in regard to the next steps for the company, it’s “business as usual,” Ryu said. “The core strategy hasn’t changed. The IPO is just a milestone in a very long journey of the mission to serve the property/casualty carrier.”
And, for the current property/casualty carriers using Guidewire products, this action means “increased validity and confidence in our long-term financial health and more transparency,” Ryu told INN, “which I think will be welcomed by our customers.”
And, while not in the plans, the IPO gives acquisition opportunity to Guidewire it didn’t have before. “We’re not opposed to the idea of an acquisition, but it would be very unlikely that it would be along the domain that we work in (core systems),” Ryu said. “It would have to be complementary to the software that we already have.”
Founded in 2001, Guidewire has since routinely broadened its core systems technology offering, and sees a sweet spot in an insurance market that still faces challenges using 30-year-old technology systems that need replacement. The company currently has more than 100 customers, including Nationwide, CNA and American Family Insurance.
Ryu credits Guidewire’s customers for its success. “Along the way, they put their trust in us, even when we were a small organization,” he told INN. “Now, 10 years later, we have a lot more [going on] and a track record behind us because of their trust.”
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