Mark Gritter (markgritter) wrote,
Mark Gritter

Fireside financing

Our CFO gave the company an informal chat about our recent financing round today.

One of the interesting things he discussed (and which I feel fine talking about publicly) is comparables. Just like houses are priced based on similar houses in the neighborhood, and CEOs are paid based on what other CEOs are paid, private investments tend to get valued based on what other companies in the same business are worth.

Unfortunately, this causes a little bit of "headwind" for Tintri because our most direct comparable is Nimble. (There's also Violin, about which the less said the better.) None of the other storage startups have gone public.

Nimble Storage's IPO (as NMBL) was in December 2013, and closed that day at $33.93/share. Their peak was $52.74 in February, and 2014, and ever since they've just been wandering around $25-$30, 50% off the peak. In contrast, the S&P has gone up 17% over NMBL's time on the market.

It's not that they're doing particularly poorly (although they are losing money.) Revenue has continued to increase at a healthy rate, and they meet analyst expectations. But, this means their price/revenue ratio has been on a steep decline too. And that's what gets used for valuation. Combined with NTAP and EMC's woes, this makes investors question whether storage is where they want to put their money.

This is not a serious impediment to Tintri going public, and obviously didn't stop us from landing a sizable investment.
Tags: finance, startup
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