Cloudera sets IPO price at $12 to $14 a share, eyes near $2bn valuation

Cloud tech IPOs seem to be like buses; you wait ages for one, then two come along at once. After Okta went public earlier this month, Cloudera, a data management platform provider, said it expects its initial public offering price to be between $12 and $14 per share for 15 million shares.

The company expects 128,064,103 shares to be outstanding after its initial offering, putting its valuation at approximately $1.8 billion, and between $2.2bn and $2.4bn including options and grants.

Cloudera, based in Palo Alto, has consistently featured at the sharp end of top private cloud companies. Forbes had the firm in its top five private companies leading cloud computing in 2016, behind Slack, Dropbox, DocuSign and Stripe, while figures from recruitment firm Glassdoor last year, based on the top 100 cloud vendors list from Computer Reseller News, put the firm in the top 10 as a desirable employer, with CEO Tom Reilly given a 93% approval rating.

The company outlines its modus operandi in the filing to the SEC. “Cloudera empowers organisations to become data-driven enterprises in the newly hyperconnected world,” it reads. “We allow enterprises to operate, manage and move workloads across multiple architectures, mixing on-premises and cloud environments, including all major public cloud infrastructure providers. We believe that our solution is the most widely adopted big data platform, with a growing range of applications being built on it.”

As is often the case, Cloudera has recorded losses of $135.4m, $203.1m and $187.3m for its 2015, 2016, and 2017 financial years, adding that it expects the trend to continue ‘for the foreseeable future’. Since 2009 and its series A funding round of $5m, more than $1bn has been raised for the company, the largest being $740m in March 2014 led by Intel.

The firm adds that its competitors are in four categories; legacy data management product providers, such as HP, IBM and Oracle; public cloud providers with data management and analytics offerings, such as AWS, Google and Microsoft; strategic partners who may also offer competitors’ technology; and open source companies, like Hortonworks and MapR.

A letter from the founder, Christophe Bisciglia, examines the opportunity the company faces. “In 2008, we saw the confluence of big data and the cloud as a huge opportunity. In 2017, it’s clear that we underestimated it,” Bisciglia wrote. “The cloud is better, faster and much cheaper than it was then.

“There is more data available than ever before,” he added. “We thought we had big data back then. We were only getting started. New data is coming from trading systems, from jet engines, from diagnostic devices in hospitals, from factory floors, from cars and trucks, from people – from everywhere. Over the last nine years, we have learned that data makes things that are impossible today, possible tomorrow.”

As affirmed by Byron Deeter of Bessemer Venture Partners, the five cloud IPOs of 2016 – Apptio, Blackline, Coupa, Everbridge and Twilio – represented the lowest number since the financial crisis of 2008.

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