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Hortonworks Files to Float Public Shares in 2015

The first IPO of the Hadoop business is coming.


Hortonworks, one of a handful of companies seeking to build a business on Hadoop, the open source big data software technology, has filed for an initial public offering.

The company took the wraps off what had initially been a confidential filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission made in August under the auspices of the JOBS Act. Hortonworks named Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse to lead the process. RBC Capital Markets, will be book-running manager, and Pacific Crest Securities, Wells Fargo and Blackstone Capital Markets will be co-managers.


In the filing, Hortonworks disclosed a net loss of $36.6 million on $11 million in revenue in its 2013 fiscal year ended April 30. It said it recently shifted its fiscal year to end on Dec. 31. For the first nine months of 2014, it posted an $86.7 million loss on $33.3 million in revenue.

Hortonworks was part of the wave earlier this year of massive investments in Hadoop companies that has clocked in at more than $1 billion. Hortonworks had already raised nearly a quarter of a billion dollars, including $150 million from computing giant Hewlett-Packard and the investment firm Blackrock. Its latest investment rounds valued the company at north of $1 billion. Other investors include Benchmark Capital, whose partner Peter Fenton sits on its board.

Yahoo is Hortonwork’s largest shareholder, controlling nearly 20 percent of its shares. Benchmark Capital owns nearly 19 percent. Index Ventures, another early venture capital investor, owns a stake amounting to 9.5 percent. Software company Teradata owns 8.3 percent and HP six percent. CEO Rob Bearden owns a stake of almost seven percent.

Its biggest rival is Cloudera, which in March landed a massive $900 million investment round led by Intel at an implied valuation of more than $4 billion. In June, a smaller Hadoop player, MapR Technologies, raised $110 million in a round, led by Google Capital, that included $80 million in cash and $30 million in debt financing.

Hadoop itself is an open source project overseen by the nonprofit Apache Foundation. The team that created it at Yahoo went on to start Hortonworks.

For the last several years, Hadoop has largely been considered to be in something of an experimental phase. As companies have struggled to get their heads around “big data” — the notion that useful business insights can come from a thorough analysis of data gathered in the course of daily operations — they have increasingly turned to Hadoop technologies to simplify the process.

But after a few years of experimentation, those companies that first experimented with Hadoop have started to use it for real. A recent IDC survey of 202 large companies that had been experimenting with Hadoop found that nearly a third of them had moved it to production environments, and roughly another third planned to do so within a year or less.

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