Phoenix tech predictions for 2015: GoDaddy finally goes public, Uber loses locals and Taser outfits police

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Jan 2, 2015, 4:52pm MST UPDATED: Jan 5, 2015, 7:24am MST

Hayley Ringle Reporter- Phoenix Business Journal

Technology companies around Phoenix had a busy year in 2014, and that momentum is expected to continue into 2015.

As more companies move to the region to take advantage of our talent pool, cheaper rents and great weather, more tech options in the state for hiring, expansions and networking.

My 2014 tech predictions didn’t quite go as planned. But what can we expect for 2015? Here are three of my predictions:

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Prediction No. 1: Arizona tech companies head to Wall Street

This finally will be the year Scottsdale-based GoDaddy and Chandler’sInfusionsoft will make it official: They’ll go public.

GoDaddy filed for its initial public offering of common stock last June, and reports show the world’s biggest domain registrar is seeking a nearly $4.5 billion IPO valuation for early this year.

Will it actually happen this year, or will it wait for its third time to be the charm?

Infusionsoft is also expected to file this year, with CEO and co-founder Clate Masktelling me he still has plans to take his company public.

In October, the small-business sales and marketing software provider raised $55 million in Series D funding, adding to its grand total of $125 million in raised capital since 2007.

It’s time for this fast-growing company to make it official. But when will the timing be right?

Will WebPT also make the leap? With a new office opening soon and new funding, it could happen.

Prediction No. 2: Local cab and driver apps surpass Uber and Lyft for rides around town

San Francisco-based Uber has become a well-known brand. But as the company struggles to save face after lots of setbacks, including the CEO acknowledging internal shortcomings, more Phoenix-area residents will turn instead to local apps to find rides.

More companies are piggybacking off Uber’s business model by putting out their own driver apps, while steadfastly claiming they are not like Uber.

Will more residents turn to locals AsterRideTotal Transit or Clean Air Cab to find a ride through the ease of their smartphones? Only time will tell.

Prediction No. 3: The majority of greater Phoenix police departments will either launch a pilot program or buy body-worn video cameras for officers

2014 was the year of the protest, with several well-publicized, controversial police shooting incidents occurring throughout the country, including in Ferguson, Missouri, where an 18-year-old unarmed man was shot and killed by a police officer.

Scottsdale-based Taser International Inc. (Nasdaq: TASR) is ready to arm police officers with its Axon on-body cameras and video management platform. The tech firm has seen its sales increase in the aftermath of incidents such as those in Ferguson. While its name is synonymous with its stun guns, it quickly is becoming known for its body cameras, as well.

Taser inked its largest deal to date in December with the Los Angeles Police Department, and Taser CEO Rick Smith told me he expects more police departments to follow suit.

Will transparency be the name of the game in our local police departments?

Hayley Ringle covers technology and startups for the Phoenix Business Journal.



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