Building a Rocketship: The Journey to $100 Million ARR In Three Years

Headshot of blog author Mike Capone, CEO of Qlik

Mike Capone

4 min read

Graphic of a rocketship made of points of light launching

As we closed the first half of 2023, we celebrated a significant milestone that ranks pretty high on our list of accomplishments in Qlik’s 30-year history. We finished this quarter with over $100 million in ARR for our cloud analytics business, which is just incredible given we only started offering SaaS three years ago!

This type of growth is usually reserved for VC funded unicorns, not established leaders positioned in the top right of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for 13 years running. Making a fundamental change like we did in going SaaS-first takes full commitment from the whole organization to make it a success. Our entire team – from Product and R&D to Pre-Sales, Sales, Customer Success, Marketing, Finance and Legal – everyone quickly aligned with the change, setting the stage for amazing results.

We’re so grateful to our tremendous customers and partners, whose continued belief and investment in our unique modern analytics offerings made this possible. Some of our largest customers such as Siemens, Mercedes-Benz, Urban Outfitters and UPS took the early leap forward with us, and we can’t thank them enough.

What makes this even more special is we achieved this while simultaneously running a profitable business and completely transforming into a best-in-class data and analytics solution provider. For context, it took high profile companies like Atlassian, ServiceNow, Salesforce, Shopify and Workday years longer to hit the same ARR target. It’s remarkable to consider what our team has accomplished in such a short time frame.

  • We incorporated a whole range of AI and machine learning elements directly into Qlik Cloud, delivering capabilities like fully interactive search, chat, and natural language generation for internal data in 11 languages!

  • Multiple strategic acquisitions have brought advanced capabilities like alerting, AutoML and automation into the platform.

  • Qlik Cloud analytics is now available in six locations across the globe, helping customers meet their data governance and sovereignty needs while enjoying the flexibility and scalability only possible with cloud analytics.

  • Our cloud analytics platform is certified by every major hyperscaler and is available on every major cloud platform marketplace.

As a former CIO, I’m proud to say this has all happened without us forcing anyone to go to the cloud. Instead, we’ve partnered with our customers to help them realize the benefits of SaaS analytics on their timetable and in fitting with their goals and needs.

We certainly expect more and more analytics workloads to continue to migrate to the cloud, the scale and flexibility benefits are just too great to ignore. But there are some areas like highly regulated industries where you just don’t want or can’t do everything in the cloud, and that’s fine with us. As you can see, the partnership approach hasn’t hurt our ability to grow ARR at an incredible rate.

And that’s only half of the story. With the introduction last fall of Qlik Cloud Data Integration and our acquisition of Talend and its cloud offerings, Qlik today has over $200 million in ARR!

Emerging trends like Generative AI are only going to make data in the cloud more valuable. Being able to deliver, transform, analyze, and create insights in the cloud is going to drive enterprise data strategies for the foreseeable future. With our unique set of offerings, cloud agnostic approach and continued laser focus on innovation, we’re positioned like nobody else in the market for continued success.

Congratulations to General Manager of Qlik’s Analytics Business Unit, Brendan Grady, and his entire team for helping to drive this incredible achievement.

Huge thanks to our customers and partners for their belief and support in helping us drive incredible growth and adoption of our cloud analytics solutions.

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