December 13, 2013 / 5:16 PM / in 4 years

UPDATE 1-Data storage company Nimble jumps in market debut

* Shares rise as much as 52 pct

* Company valued at about $2.25 bln (Adds industry background and updates share movement)

By Neha Dimri

Dec 13 (Reuters) - Shares of data storage company Nimble Storage Inc jumped as much as 52 percent in their market debut on Friday as technology companies continue to receive investor interest in a surging stock market.

Nimble’s shares opened at $31.10 and touched a high of $31.94 on the New York Stock Exchange, valuing the company at about $2.25 billion.

It has been a bumper year for U.S. IPOs as a surging stock market and low interest rates have drawn investors to stocks. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, 225 companies listed their shares in the U.S. market up to Dec. 5, raising $51.3 billion.

Nimble makes storage devices that combine hard disks and flash drives. It competes with larger companies such as NetApp Inc and EMC Corp.

Demand for flash memory storage products have surged with the popularity of smartphones and tablets as they are typically much faster than traditional hard disk drives.

As a result, flash memory storage companies are being widely seen as acquisition targets. The industry has also received funding from investment firms.

Nimble’s investors include tech-focused investment firms such as Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners and Lightspeed Venture Partners. The company, founded in 2008, had raised $40 million in September 2012.

The stake of Accel Partners, one of Nimble’s largest shareholders, will be diluted to 18.4 percent from 20.8 percent after the offering.

Nimble, which added about 1,050 customers between 2011 and 2013, sells its products to cloud-based service providers, education and financial services firms.

The company is headed by Suresh Vasudevan, the former chief executive of networking equipment company Omneon Video Networks Inc and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management.

Nimble’s revenue rose to $53.9 million from $1.7 million in the last three years. Its net loss widened to $27.9 million from $6.8 million during the same period.

The California-based company raised $168 million after its initial public offering of 8 million shares was priced at $21 per share, above the expected pricing range of $18-$20.

Nimble, which has expanded its workforce more than ten-fold in the past three years, plans to use the proceeds for investing in complementary businesses and for working capital and general corporate purposes.

Data storage company Box, which provides users with free storage, is also gearing up for an IPO. The fast-growing technology start-up’s IPO could come in the first half of 2014 and raise about $500 million, Reuters reported in November, citing sources.

Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley were the lead underwriters for Nimble’s offering. (Reporting By Neha Dimri in Bangalore; Editing by Ted Kerr, Maju Samuel)

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