PLEASANTON -- Cloud software company Veeva Systems jumped into a hot market for initial public offerings Tuesday and emerged with millions of dollars more than it originally expected.

Veeva announced Tuesday afternoon that it would sell more than 13 million shares for $20 apiece, after initially seeking an IPO share price of $12 to $14 and then increasing that range to $16 to $18 last week. The six-year-old company expects to collect a total of $260.9 million and is initially valued at more than $2.4 billion.

Veeva markets its cloud-enterprise software to life-sciences companies and has signed up at least 170 customers including industry behemoths such as Pfizer, Eli Lilly and Genentech. The rapid adoption of Veeva's software in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries has helped the company double its revenues in each of its past two fiscal years and achieve a true rarity for a company at IPO time: profitability.

Veeva has recorded a profit three years in a row, bringing in a total of nearly $27 million in that period.

Cloud software -- also known as software-as-a-service, or SaaS -- offers the ability to access programs stored on remote servers, cutting down on hardware costs and allowing for quick updates and easy access from a range of devices. Businesses have rushed to such solutions rapidly, creating huge revenues for young companies that have found riches either on Wall Street or through acquisitions by legacy software companies such as Oracle (ORCL) and SAP.

Veeva's fellow Pleasanton resident, Workday, can attest to the enthusiasm on Wall Street for cloud software companies: The human-resources-focused enterprise software firm raked in $637 million in its IPO last October by charging $28 a share, and closed Thursday at $80.18. More recently, Redwood City cloud software firm Rocket Fuel, which focuses on the online advertising industry, went public at $29 a share last month and has more than doubled, closing Tuesday at $60.60.

Veeva was founded in 2007 by CEO and former Salesforce executive Peter Gassner; Rocket Fuel founder and CEO George John also left Salesforce to start his company. Cofounder Matt Wallach also remains on board at the company, serving as president.

Veeva is selling 9.7 million shares in the offering, while stockholders such as Wallach and venture-capital investor Emergence Capital are combining to sell the other 3.3 million shares, giving the company a total take of $194 million, which it plans to use for general corporate purposes, according to the company's filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The underwriters, led by Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank, have access to an overallotment of more than 1.9 million shares.

Shares in Veeva are expected to begin trading Wednesday morning on the New York Stock Exchange.

Contact Jeremy C. Owens at 408-920-5876; follow him at Twitter.com/jowens510.