IPO Alert: Fusion-io… Beyond the Cloud (FIO, AAPL)

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A new IPO filing has been made by a company called Fusion-io, Inc. Terms have not been made public other than that the funds to be raised are up to $150 million.  The company’s own description noted, “Fusion-io is a leading provider of data-centric computing solutions – a combination of hardware and software that places data closer to processing, resulting in dramatic improvements in both performance and efficiency.”  In short, think of it as reigning the cloud in much closer… Just keep in mind that the company tries to avoid the term “cloud.”  The real aim looks to be consolidated systems within data centers.

Underwriters in the filing include Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, and Credit Suisse.   Fusion-io plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “FIO.”

This one has ties back to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL)… Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniak is the company’s chief scientist.  The company claims to have pioneered a next generation storage memory platform for data decentralization. It noted, “Our platform significantly improves the processing capabilities within a data center by relocating process-critical data from centralized storage to the server where it is being processed, a methodology we refer to as data decentralization.”

Its integrated hardware and software solutions use non-volatile memory to boost data center efficiency for enterprise grade performance, reliability, availability and manageability.

The company sells its solution through a direct sales force and original equipment manufacturers (Dell, HP and IBM, and others). It also claims to have shipped solutions aggregating over 20 petabytes of enterprise class storage memory capacity to more than 1,000 end-users.

Revenues are growing: $648,000 in 2008; $10.15 million in 2009; and $36.216 million in 2010.  Net losses have risen each year as well: $9.975 million in 2008; -$25.573 million in 2009; and -$31.716 million in 2010.  Its fiscal year ends in June, so the numbers are still showing growth: the first six-months during the fiscal 2010 were $11.927 million with a loss at -$13.139 million versus 2011 of $58.264 million and -$8.244 million.

New Enterprise Associates 12, owns about 38.8% of Fusion-io and Lightspeed Venture Partners VIII owns about 13.2% of the company.  We’d be inclined to call this just a cloud storage player, but it is both hardware and external.  Its ioDrive is a new solid state technology that increases bandwidth and application performance; its ioDrive Duo doubles the performance and capacity available on a single device; and its ioDrive Octal packs 6 GB/s of bandwidth and 5.12TB of capacity into a single PCI Express device.  Its ioSphere Platform of software solutions enables data center architects to manage Fusion’s distributed flash memory more effectively and efficiently than ever before.

JON C. OGG

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