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Christian Chabot (l) and Pat Hanrahan of Tableau Software
Christian Chabot (l) and Pat Hanrahan of Tableau Software

Tableau Software is expected to go public tonight on the New York Stock Exchange, a significant milestone for the 10-year-old maker of data visualization products. Demand appears to be very strong, with Tableau on Wednesday boosting the expected pricing range to $28 to $30 per share.

Of course, that could mean a windfall for early investors and founders.

Tableau is a bit of a unique story, since it raised a relatively small amount of venture funding (and actually never used it to grow the business).

“The bootstrapped culture we built very early ended up becoming a part of the bloodswell of the whole company, even as we got big and could have easily raised money,” Tableau CEO Christian Chabot told me at the GeekWire Meetup in February. “I think it has worked out quite well.”

Ugh, yes it has worked out very, very well.

tableau-logo22Tableau’s founders have been able to retain a significant share of the company, something you don’t always see in companies on the brink of IPOs. Chabot and co-founder and chief development officer Christopher Stolte each hold 15 percent of the company, while co-founder and chief scientist Patrick Hanrahan owns 18 percent. That means the three creators almost own half of the company.

Chabot, Stolte and Hanrahan only plan to sell 400,000 shares each in the IPO, a small fraction of their overall shares. If shares price at $30, they will each make a very cool $12 million each.

Tableau co-founder Chris Stolte

But their paper holdings in Tableau will be far great. Chabot and Stolte would hold about $228 million of Tableau stock after the offering, while Hanrahan’s stock holdings would be worth a whopping $274 million.

The venture investors who invested into Tableau also could do very well. Term Sheet’s Dan Primack notes that NEA could see a 20X return on its investment, the original $5 million of which came in at 47 cents per share. The VC firm later joined with late-stage investor Meritech Capital, also an investor in Seattle’s PopCap Games, with a $10 million investment at $2.29 per share in 2008. The VC firms then purchased shares, including some from top executives, at a price of $5.90 in September 2010, with Meritech paying $17.8 million and NEA buying shares worth $14.2 million.

NEA has invested about $29 million in Tableau over the years, and its entire 37 percent stake — 19.5 million shares — would be worth $586 million at the time of the IPO. (It plans to sell one million shares during the IPO).

Merietch, which owns 6.3 percent of Tableau and doesn’t plan to sell shares during the offering, will have a stake worth $99 million.

Not too shabby for any of the folks involved.

Here’s a closer look:


We’ll be tracking the progress of the IPO throughout Friday, and we’ll have updates on GeekWire throughout the day. Stay tuned for more details.

Here are more remarks from Chabot’s talk at the GeekWire Meetup:

Previously on GeekWire:  As Tableau readies for IPO, Marc Andreessen laments that tech companies don’t want to go public

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