NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- David Steinberg isn't coy about his company's future.
He asserts that Zeta Interactive's recent growth and large and client list make the firm a logical candidate for an IPO.
"We fit the criteria if you think of an IPO as the next step of a capital market's evolution and I think that's something we're thinking about some time in the not distant future," Steinberg said in an interview with TheStreet.
Last year, the revenue of the New York-based big data and analytics firm rose more than $100 million -- a 68% spike, Steinberg said. A privately held company, Zeta does not have to report its revenue.
Steinberg said that most of the companies on Zeta's roster of more than 720 are Fortune 1000 firms. Among the biggest names are T-Mobile (TMUS), ADT (ADT) and US Airways. Zeta now has more than 700 employees in 17 offices on four continents and Steinberg is projecting a more than 40% increase in revenues for his company this year.
The veteran technology entrepreneur co-founded Zeta eight years ago with John Sculley, a former CEO of Apple (APPL) and Pepsi-Cola (PEP). Steinberg saw huge potential in a firm that could help companies make better use of data.
Steinberg suggested that he had learned lessons from his job early on as CEO of InPhonic, a seller of wireless phones and communications products and services on the Internet. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2007, after Steinberg's departure. InPhonic didn't make the right personnel decisions in opting for people adept at growing the business instead of management, Steinberg claimed, adding the company had been overly "focused on market share" instead of "profitability."
Steinberg said he will watch with interest the fate of Salesforce (CRM), a larger competitor that has been a focus of takeover speculation. If a major player in the big data and analytics market acquires Salesforce, "it would be good for us," he said, but a purchase by a secondary player leading to its being able to "roll product out" would amp up competition.
"Let's face it," Steinberg said. "Salesforce is already a very formidable competitor."
Zeta will continue to differentiate itself from competitors by helping clients acquire new customers as well as retain and monetize them, Steinberg said. Although some might find this first task unusual for a tech company involved with customer relationship management, partnerships with other technology and service providers make it possible. Steinberg said that Zeta has more than 50 million active people in its database to whom it can market.
"We're a customer life cycle marketing platform," Steinberg told TheStreet.