* Company sees IPO between December and April
* To shop bankers in September
* Would follow competitor Fusion-io's strong debut
(Rewrites first paragraph, adds background on sector, byline)
By Noel Randewich
SAN FRANCISCO, July 19 Flash memory storage
provider Violin Memory could launch its initial public offering
between December and April, Chief Executive Donald Basile said
on Tuesday, as the rush to snap up technology start-ups shows
no signs of waning.
Along with Fusion-io FIO.N, which last month held a
well-received IPO, Violin Memory is part of a fast-growing
niche as corporations look to flash memory chips to speed up
data centers that for decades have depended on slower hard
drives and storage tape.
"We'll do our banker selection in September so we'll be
ready for our potential public offering," said Basile, who was
formerly the chief executive of Fusion-io. "The earliest would
be December -- somewhere between December and April."
He told Reuters the success of Fusion-io's stock market
debut and excitement around daily-deal company Groupon, which
like Violin Memory has a short revenue track record, were
factors in leaning toward an IPO rather than toward being
Violin Memory, which makes arrays of flash memory chips for
data centers and is backed by Toshiba Corp (6502.T) and Juniper
Networks (JNPR.N), recently raised additional funds valuing it
at $440 million.
Retrieving data from flash memory chips is much faster and
more energy efficient than from hard drives, which use needles
to read data from spinning metal disks.
While storing data on flash chips is still expensive
compared to hard drives, IT executives see the extra cost as
worthwhile for functions where speed is important -- like
operating social media websites or banking transactions.
Shares of Fusion-io have surged about 22 percent since the
Salt Lake City, Utah-based company's share offer in June.
Other players in flash chip enterprise storage include
Texas Memory Systems, OCZ Technology OCZ.O and STEC Inc
Groupon, which started in 2008 and has yet to make profit,
has filed to raise $750 million in an IPO.
(Reporting by Noel Randewich; Editing by Derek Caney, Bernard