March 22, 2012 / 1:52 AM / 6 years ago

UPDATE 1-ExactTarget prices IPO above range

March 21 (Reuters) - ExactTarget priced shares in its initial public offering above the expected range on Wednesday, as demand continues to hold strong for cloud-based software companies.

The Indianapolis-based e-mail marketing software firm said it sold 8.5 million shares at $19 each, raising $161.5 million. It had planned to sell shares at $15 to $17 each.

ExactTarget sells marketing software on a subscription basis that helps companies communicate with customers through channels such as e-mail, mobile and social media. Its clients include, Microsoft and Angie’s List .

ExactTarget’s revenue grew 55 percent in 2011 to $207.5 million. Its net loss, however, widened to $35.4 million from $12.1 million.

The company had originally filed for an IPO in 2009 but pulled the offering due to market conditions.

ExactTarget is hoping to ride the coattails of other recent software-as-a-service (SaaS) IPOs.

Last week, Demandware priced above its expected range and its shares soared more than 50 percent on its first day of trading.

Other strong market debuts in the SaaS space within the last few months included Bazaarvoice, Guidewire and Jive Software.

“ExactTarget has a good chance of joining the ‘cloud’ companies with an increase in IPO price the first day, but because the business still consumes cash, we would sell ExactTarget into the after-market IPO demand,” president Francis Gaskins wrote in a recent report.

ExactTarget’s shareholders include venture firm Technology Crossover Ventures, which holds a 26 percent stake in the company. Greenspring Associates and Battery Ventures each hold a roughly 18 percent stake.

The company plans to use the proceeds of the IPO for general corporate purposes.

The IPO’s underwriters included J.P. Morgan, Deutsche Bank and Stifel Nicolaus Weisel.

ExactTarget will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday under the ticker “ET.” (Reporting by Olivia Oran; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner)

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