Feeds

Mutant array upstart Nimble Storage slips IPO forms into SEC's postbox

Tech firm which sells products - not customers - preps for float

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Mighty mutant flash/disk array startup Nimble Storage has filed a preliminary form with the SEC announcing its intention to proceed with an IPO. The number of shares for sale and the price range haven't been decided yet – it hasn't even picked a date.

Nimble was founded in November 2007 by ex-Data Domain staffers, including engineer Varun Mehta, who is currently its VP of engineering after moving from the CEO spot. Umesh Maheshwari is the other and presently the CTO. Its CEO is now Suresh Vasudevan.

It started shipping its iSCSI interface CS200 arrays in August 2010, adding a larger CS400 and clustering in August last year.

Nimble is one of three of the most prominent hybrid array startups – the other two being Tegile and Tintri. All three offer flash speed for most data read accesses and disk affordability for the majority of the stored data.

CS400

CS400

Essentially, they're cheaper than all-flash arrays but nearly as powerful, and much faster than disk arrays while not being much more expensive. They also typically have system software designed to use flash well and support virtualised servers, and more responsive support systems than the mainstream array vendors.

All three are growing fast and have hinted at IPOs with Nimble putting its S1 stake in the ground first.

Nimble's product ship and customer growth rate is impressive:

  • Jan 2011 - Few systems sold and 66 customers.
  • Jan 2012 - 506 systems sold and 276 customers.
  • Sep 2012 - More than 1,000 systems sold to more than 500 customers.
  • Jan 2013 - 2,025 systems sold and 1,107 customers (around 400 per cent growth in each category).
  • Jul - 2013 - More than 1,750 customers.

So it might achieve the 2,000 customer mark by the end of its 2013 ywar. The funding history looks like this:

  • January 2008 – A-round funding of $8m from Sequoia and Excel Partners.
  • 2009 – B-round of $9m led by Lightspeed Ventures.
  • Autumn 2010 – C-round of $16m from existing investors.
  • Summer 2011 – D-round of $25m from ARTIS Capital, DataDomain's largest investor.
  • September 2011 – E-round of $40.7m.

Total funding is $98m and the revenue/losses story is:

  • Revenues of $1.7m and losses of $6.8m in the year ending Jan 31 2011.
  • Revenues of $14m and losses of $16.8m in the year ending Jan 31 2012.
  • Revenues of $53.8m and losses of $27.9m in the year ending Jan 31 2013.
  • Revenues of $50.6m and losses of $19.8m in the six months to July 2013; perhaps indicating a $100m full year.

Its business model is becoming healthier. The SEC Form S-1 states: "As a percentage of total revenue, our operating expenses have declined from 175 per cent for the year ended January 31, 2012 to 114 per cent for the year ended January 31, 2013 and to 101 per cent for the six months ended July 31, 2013."

A fivefold payout for the investors would indicate an IPO valuation of at least $500m as the IPO banks would want their cut of the action. Possibly Nimble will look for gross proceeds of $600m.

What will it use its proceeds for? The S1 states: "We intend to continue to invest in development of our solutions and sales and marketing programs to drive long-term growth. To support future sales, we plan to continue to invest significant resources in sales and marketing... we intend to hire additional sales and marketing personnel. We are also expanding our VAR network and will be starting to contract directly with large distributors."

Let's hope Nimble Storage manages to jump over the IPO hurdle without tripping. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
Want to STUFF Facebook with blatant ADVERTISING? Fine! But you must PAY
Pony up or push off, Zuck tells social marketeers
Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals
By writing a really angry letter about how it's harming our cloud business, ta
SAVE ME, NASA system builder, from my DEAD WORKSTATION
Anal-retentive hardware nerd in paws-on workstation crisis
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.