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Palo Alto start-up Cloudera files for $200-million IPO

Offering more proof that the IPO market is rebounding, big-data start-up Cloudera on Friday filed to raise up to $200 million in its long-awaited public stock debut.

The Palo Alto-based company is the latest in a string of enterprise tech companies to indicate plans for an initial public offering, ending the dry spell that had analysts fretting last year. The filing also comes on the heels of Snap’s massive IPO in early March, which saw a first-day pop of 44% that Silicon Valley investors hoped would tempt other tech companies to the public market.

Cloudera, which provides an open source data analysis platform to other companies, brought in $261 million in revenue in the fiscal year ending Jan. 31, up 57% from $166 million the year before, according to the document the company filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday. The company’s net losses were $187.3 million last fiscal year, and $203.1 million the year before.

“We have a long history of losses, and we may not become profitable in the future,” the company wrote in the filing.

The company, which was incorporated in 2008, had 1,470 full-time employees in January.

A spokeswoman for Cloudera declined to provide additional comments Friday.

The company has raised about $1 billion and was last valued around $4 billion as a private company. Cloudera plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “CLDR.”

Intel is one of Cloudera’s major investors and partners, pouring $741.8 million into the start-up in 2014, and holds 22% of the company’s shares — making it the largest outside shareholder. Cloudera also has optimized its software for use with Intel processors.

That deeply involved relationship could be a blessing and a curse, Cloudera’s Friday filing revealed.

“Intel could have considerable influence over matters such as approving a potential acquisition of us,” Cloudera wrote. “Intel’s investment in and position in our company could also discourage others from pursuing any potential acquisition of us, which could have the effect of depriving the holders of our common stock of the opportunity to sell their shares at a premium over the prevailing market price.”

After 2016 proved to be a slow year for tech IPOs, 2017 so far has seen increased activity. Following Snap’s much-watched debut, San Francisco-based software company MuleSoft and Irvine-based data analytics company Alteryx went public, and San Francisco start-up Okta and New York-based Yext have filed for IPOs. Okta is expected to price its IPO next week.

Snap’s March 2 debut marked the first tech IPO of 2017. San Francisco-based software start-up AppDynamics had been poised to break the ice with a $156-million IPO in January, but instead sold to Cisco for $3.7 billion two days before it was set to price the offering.

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