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Bechtolsheim's baby Arista Networks heads toward IPO

Profitable bit-fiddler files S-1 for market debut

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Networking startup Arista Networks is filing for an IPO as the scrappy biz tries to wrestle share away from incumbents like Cisco and Juniper.

The profitable upstart filed its S-1 form with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday.

Arista Networks' chairman is Andy Bechtolsheim, the co-founder of Sun Microsystems. The small biz has distinguished itself by fielding pricey switches that have fearsome packets-per-second bandwidth capabilities and powerful control software.

The company is pegging its prospects for future growth to the rise of the cloud market, and says in its S-1 that it believes "that cloud computing represents a fundamental shift from traditional legacy data centers and that cloud networking is the fastest growing segment within the data center switching market."

In the forms, the Santa Clara, California-based company demonstrated impressive revenue growth alongside a healthy net income – a pleasing trait in a valley flush with high-profile companies that tend to focus on growth first and profit second.

"For 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, our revenue was $71.7 million, $139.8 million, $193.4 million and $361.2 million, respectively. Our 2013 revenue grew 87% when compared to 2012." the company wrote in its S-1. "For 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, our net income was $2.4 million, $34.0 million, $21.3 million and $42.5 million, respectively."

Arista was founded in 2004 and shipped its first product in 2008. As of the end of 2013, Arista had 2,340 customers, up from 570 at the end of December 2010.

Its typical buyers are those that either have a need for great speed, such as financial institutions, or ones that run complex multi-tenant data centers, like service and cloud providers.

These customers include: Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Barclays, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Comcast, Equinix, ESPN, Rackspace, and others. ®

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