Good things come to those who wait - even when it takes nearly two decades. Medallia ($MEDALLIA) shares are up 77% on their first day of trading in what continues to be a bull-market year for IPOs. 

The experience management software firm is led by a husband and wife team of consulting industry veterans who found a way to take one of the most inefficient parts of their former business and put a digital spin on it: gathering and assessing feedback. 

What's more, Medallia - which generates insight from client data - is just the latest IPO in a hot space for tech startups: experience management software. The company - after scaling back on both staff and hiring in late 2018 - has seen growth in headcount and planned new hires, which our first two charts (above, and below) track. Medallia has twiced scaled back on hiring - something pre-IPO companies have been observed doing in this cycle. But, in the months leading up to the offering, the company added dozens of new staffers. We can derive this from our second chart, which tracks the company's LinkedIn ($NASDAQ:MSFT) Employee Count. 

The company was founded by consulting industry veterans in 2000, and changed its name to Medallia in 2001. How Medallia generates revenue comes through its enterprise software. Medallia Experience Cloud gathers data from customers and employees, typically in the form of surveys, to create alternative data sets for corporate clients like Hilton and Comcast. 

The industry is so hot that one of the last competitors Medallia had that charted out an IPO, was bought out by SAP (NYSE:SAP) in a $8 billion deal on the eve of its initial public offering. As you can see by our next chart, it did nothing to slow down growth - Qualtrics' job postings more than doubled from the day it was bought in November 2018, until late June. 

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

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