Big-data company Sumo Logic to consider IPO from 2015

Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:08am EST

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(Reuters) - Sumo Logic is aiming to hire a chief financial officer next year with a view to going public in 2015, following its big-data competitors Splunk Inc (SPLK.O) and Tableau Software Inc (DATA.N) to the stock market.

The company expects revenue to grow tenfold this year after it won contracts to supply its cloud-based tools to crunch data on a massive scale. An initial public offering could follow, Chief Executive Vance Loiselle told Reuters.

"(An IPO) is definitely something we will consider in the next couple of years," he said. "2015 is probably a realistic timeline."

Big Data firms analyze vast troves of information that can be culled from social media, Web searches, financial records and other mountains of digital facts and figures.

The industry is expected to drive $54.59 billion in IT spending by 2016, about double the investment in 2011, according to market research firm Gartner.

Investors have bought into Big Data. Shares of Splunk have doubled since the company listed on the Nasdaq in April 2012. The company has won several seven-figure deals that enable the adoption of its data analytics software across an enterprise.

Shares of Tableau, which makes software to turn complicated data into graphics and charts, have risen nearly 30 percent since the company listed in May on the New York Stock Exchange.

Loiselle said Sumo Logic, founded in 2010, was exploring the possibility of hiring a chief financial officer - often a signal that a company is preparing to go public.

"It's probably a role that we will fill next year," said Loiselle, who co-founded data center automation company BladeLogic and joined BMC Software when BMC bought BladeLogic.

IPO RUSH

MapR, another privately owned company that sells software for analyzing big data, named Dan Alter as its first chief financial officer on Wednesday as it lays the groundwork for a possible IPO.

Alter was previously CFO of Ikanos Communications Inc (IKAN.O) and Silicon Image Inc (SIMG.O), and helped to take both companies public.

John Schroeder, co-founder and chief executive of MapR, said the company - whose customers include Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO.O) and comScore Inc (SCOR.O) - would consider an IPO.

"We are preparing the company for that," he said. "That's something we would entertain over the next couple of years."

Redwood City, California-based Sumo Logic raised $30 million from Accel Partners and existing investors Greylock Partners, Sutter Hill Ventures and Shlomo Kramer in its last round of financing in November 2012.

Loiselle said the company would not require fresh financing for at least another year.

"We expect at least 300 percent growth (in revenue) next year, based on what we have done so far this year," he said, declining to reveal actual profit or revenue.

"A lot of the deals and partnerships we've established with customers this past year have been a fair amount larger than we anticipated."

Sumo Logic expects to have between 250 and 300 customers by the end of its financial year in January, having won contracts in recent months from companies such as McGraw-Hill Financial Inc (MHFI.N) and Scripps Networks Interactive Inc (SNI.N).

(Additional reporting by Sayantani Ghosh; Editing by Robin Paxton)

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