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The week before Xmas ... not a creature was stirring – except Nutanix finally filing for its IPO

Hopes to raise $200m in 2016 stock-market debut

Some big news in the hyper-converged storage world today amid the pre-Christmas lull. How can we say this?

Nutanix? Noo-tanix? Nutan-icks?

Either way, the hyper-converged storage upstart has finally filed the necessary paperwork to get its stock-market debut underway.

The San Jose-based biz today gave US financial watchdog the SEC its S-1 form, paving the way for a long-anticipated initial public offering early next year.

The feisty startup was valued at $2bn after its latest round of fundraising in 2014, although that figure could top $3bn when it goes public. According to its homework, Nutanix wants to raise $200m at its IPO; the actual number will depend on its stock price on the day. It will debut on the Nasdaq Global Select Market as NTNX.

Nutanix was founded in 2009, and sells clusters of commodity x86 servers that pool together their storage capacity into a single shared resource. Each node hosts virtual machines that tap into that virtual pool, eliminating the need to plug this compute power into external storage arrays.

The VMs run on VMware, Microsoft's Hyper-V, and Nutanix's own KVM-based Acropolis hypervisor. The upstart's magic secret sauce is in its management software that glues these systems together. It has partnered with Dell and Lenovo on hardware.

That's the tech – let's talk figures: in its fiscal 2015, which ended on July 31, Nutanix made a $126m net loss (worse than 2014's $84m loss, and 2013's $44m crater) from sales of $241m (up 89 per cent on $127m in the previous year). Its total operating expenses for 2015 were $259m, up 80 per cent on the previous year's $144m.

In the three months to October 31 this calendar year, it booked revenues of $87m (up 89 per cent from $46m in the year-ago period), and made a net loss of $38m (worse than the year-ago quarter's $28m).

In its paperwork, the biz said it had "experienced significant growth," and explained its losses thus: "We have continued to make significant investments as we scale our business, including in developing and improving our platform, expanding our sales and marketing capabilities and global coverage, and in expanding our general and administrative resources to support our growth."

Under the usual "risks" heading, the company admits: "The markets in which we compete are rapidly evolving, which make it difficult to forecast end-user adoption rates and demand for our solutions ... if end-customers do not adopt our solution, our ability to grow our business and operating results may be adversely affected."

Nutanix employs 1,368 people, and has had 2,100 customers, according to its homework – customers that include Best Buy, Kellogg, Nasdaq, Nintendo, Nordstrom, NTT SmartConnect, Toyota Motors of North America, US Department of Defense Office of the Secretary of Defense, and Yahoo! Japan. Its rivals are the big storage array heavyweights: EMC, NetApp, HDS, etc. ®

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