NEW YORK, April 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- LivePerson, Inc. (Nasdaq: LPSN), a provider of online engagement solutions that facilitate real-time assistance and expert advice, today celebrates its ten year anniversary as a publicly traded NASDAQ company. The company went public on April 7, 2000, in the midst of the bursting of the dotcom bubble, and was among the last of such companies to be listed on the NASDAQ prior to the massive tech stock sell-off of April 2000. Just one week after LivePerson's IPO, the NASDAQ experienced a cumulative loss of nearly 35% from its peak of 5,133 on March 10, 2000.
"The week we went public, it felt like the world was ending," said LivePerson founder and CEO, Robert LoCascio. "It was a wild time when the market would surge several hundred points then plummet several hundred points in the same week. The market fluctuation and uncertainty were dizzying. We held our IPO on Friday, April 7, and the following week the market took its biggest nosedive since peaking that March. It felt like we went public, walked through the door, and then that door closed shut forever."
Shortly after the IPO, the company began implementing an aggressive restructuring plan to ensure its survival. This included acquiring an Israel-based competitor, and laying off two thirds of the workforce. The company went public at $8 a share; by July 2001 the stock was trading well below $1. Shortly after September 11, 2001, the company was able to eliminate its last major financial obligation -- a lease for a significant amount of office space -- when one of the tenants of the World Trade Center needed space in order to continue operations. This restructuring plan enabled the company to break even in December 2001. Today, LivePerson is trading near its original IPO price of $8, but this time the company generates more than $87 million in annual revenue, is cash flow positive, and has over 400 employees in North America, Europe and Israel.
Following are some key highlights of how LivePerson survived in the aftermath of the dotcom implosion to become the profitable company it is today:
"I strongly believe one of the key reasons we are where we are today, is that we dealt with the reality of the market conditions of that time," continued Mr. LoCascio. "I recall sitting on a panel with other dotcom CEOs and one of them showed us why his company would remain in business, and why ours (the dotcoms) would fail. That reason, according to him, was that our business models were flawed with wild spending and little income. We knew we had to make more than we spent, and the drastic measures we took beginning in late 2000 through 2002 ensured our survival. We made our vision a reality by dealing with reality, and doing it quickly. That, in addition to offering a relevant and valuable solution to what we knew would be a burgeoning ecommerce market, has made all the difference."
Today, LivePerson is a thriving company, with 2009 revenue exceeding $87 million. The company is the leading provider of online engagement solutions. Among its roster of clients are some of the world's leading financial institutions, retailers, telecommunications, travel and high-tech providers. The company and its CEO are a testament to what will, perseverance and a vision can achieve amidst unimaginable obstacles.
LivePerson (http://www.solutions.liveperson.com/ ) is a provider of online engagement solutions that facilitate real-time assistance and expert advice. Connecting businesses and experts with consumers seeking help on the Web, LivePerson's hosted software platform creates more relevant, compelling and personalized online experiences. Every month, LivePerson's intelligent platform helps millions of people succeed online. More than 8,000 companies, including EarthLink, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Qwest, and Verizon, rely on LivePerson to maximize the impact of the online channel. LivePerson is headquartered in New York City.
SOURCE LivePerson, Inc.