After months of speculation, Riverbed is about to take the first steps to IPO, according to industry sources, who say the firm's S-1 filing is imminent. (See In the Public Domain.)
One Wall Street analyst, who asked not to be named, says the WAFS and WAN optimization startup has hired bankers and is looking for an IPO in the second half of the year. He expects Riverbed to be cashflow positive this quarter and profitable next quarter.
A storage analyst, also requesting no attribution, says Riverbed's investors favor filing now rather than waiting for profitability. "I had heard that their VCs were pushing them to file, even though they weren't profitable yet," he says.
The startup, which was one of the first vendors to offer both WAFS and WAN optimization, has seen a number of its competitors snapped up by larger predators and is widely regarded as best positioned of the remaining privately held companies in this space. (See Top Ten Private Companies: Spring 2006, Cisco Acts on Actona, Peribit Deal: More to Come, and Brocade Invests in Tacit.)
Another industry source says Riverbed generated around $25 million in revenue in 2005, and its first-quarter 2006 revenue was around $13 million -- up from about $10 million in the previous quarter.