Demandware to test demand in public market?

Contact: Brenon Daly

After a pair of billion-dollar deals over the past half-year removed two old-line e-commerce vendors from the Nasdaq, an on-demand startup is rumored to be looking to replenish the ranks on the public market. Several sources have indicated that Demandware has picked underwriters and is set to file its IPO paperwork shortly, with Goldman Sachs & Co and Deutsche Bank Securities running the books. The filing, if it comes, would continue a trend of offerings by relatively small subscription-based companies. Demandware is expected to do about $40m in revenue in 2011.

Founded in 2004 and based near Boston, the company provides an e-commerce platform for more than 150 customers, including Barneys New York and The Jones Group. Demandware’s investors include local VC firms General Catalyst Partners and North Bridge Venture Partners.

The IPO for Demandware would come at a time of consolidation in the e-commerce industry, with big buyers paying big prices. Late last year, Oracle acquired Art Technology Group for $1bn, paying the highest price that ATG shares had seen since 2001. (ATG, which was founded in 1991, counted more than 1,000 customers.) And then earlier this year, eBay handed over $2.4bn for GSI Commerce. That stands as the largest Internet transaction since February 2008.