Hortonworks to seek IPO within two years, CEO says

Wed Aug 28, 2013 6:27pm EDT

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(Reuters) - Enterprise software start-up Hortonworks plans to seek a public listing in 15 to 24 months, banking on growing demand for data analytics, its chief executive said on Wednesday.

"We started the company from day one and how we structured it with the goal and objective to build a public company," CEO Rob Bearden said in an interview.

"The best case scenario would be in five quarters; the worst case scenario would be in eight quarters," Bearden said, adding that a sale would not be an option but declining to say if Hortonworks had any suitors.

"We do not want to sell and we have made that very clear," he said.

The Palo Alto, California-based company is a Yahoo Inc spin-off founded in 2011 by a team of software engineers working on Yahoo's Apache Hadoop implementation.

Apache Hadoop is an open source software system designed for crunching massive amounts of data and is used by the likes of Facebook Inc and Twitter, as well as eBay Inc and Amazon.com Inc.

Hortonworks competes with start-ups Cloudera and Splunk Inc, which had an impressive stock market debut in April 2012.

The idea behind big data is to converge structured data found inside databases and unstructured data found in social networks, mobile devices, meters or sensors to identify patterns or predict behavior.

According to IDC research, the global big data technology and services market will grow at a 31.7 percent compound annual rate with revenues reaching $23.8 billion in 2016.

Hortonworks, which has strategic partnerships with Microsoft Corp and Teradata Corp, generates about 70 percent of its revenue from support subscription services. The remaining 30 percent comes from training and consulting, Bearden said.

He declined to give a current revenue number but said Hortonworks will have a run rate of a $100 million by next year and that it will be profitable by that time.

The company, which is backed by venture capital firm Benchmark Capital, has had three funding rounds and has so far raised $103 million, Bearden also said.

Bearden said he hopes the technology it offers will eventually become the industry standard and that Hortonworks will grow into a company like Red Hat Inc, which distributes the Linux operating system, or software maker VMware Inc.

Hortonworks has around 120 paying customers and is adding 30 to 40 per quarter, Bearden said.

(Reporting By Nicola Leske; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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