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Flash array vendor Pure Storage has filed for an IPO

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Could sell up to $300 million worth of shares

American all-flash array specialist Pure Storage has filed for an IPO. The number of shares to be offered and the price range are yet to be determined, but the registration statement reveals the start-up hopes to raise up to $300 million.

Pure has attracted more than $530 million in venture capital since it was founded in 2009, and was valued at $3 billion in 2014. But despite all this cash, it failed to turn a profit in the past 12 months.

First of many

Pure Storage takes consumer-grade flash memory and transforms it into affordable enterprise-ready solutions. Even though it sells hardware appliances, all of the company’s intellectual property is actually in software and data reduction algorithms. The company claims these algorithms allow it to offer “flash at the price of disk”, with much better performance and easier management than that offered by traditional storage architectures.

On Wednesday, Pure filed a registration statement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission in preparation for an initial public offering. According to the statement, the company currently has 1,100 paying customers. It has been awarded 200 patents and has another 150 patent applications pending in the US and overseas.

Pure plans to offer its stock under the ticker symbol ‘PSTG’ – presumably since ‘PURE’ has already been taken by a bioscience company from California. Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs will act as lead book-running managers for the proposed offering.

If Pure manages to sell $300 million worth of shares, it would become the largest enterprise IT vendor to file for an IPO this year. Analysts warn this could be the start of a trend, with start-ups lining up to cash in on the flash storage craze.

”Make no mistake, we compete with Pure, so one might think that we don’t want to see them in the spotlight, but that would just be jealousy,” commented Marc Farley, evangelist at Tegile. “The thing is, even though the enterprise flash storage market is taking big bites out of traditional disk-based storage market, it is still growing and we want it to grow faster.

“Pure’s IPO lifts all boats and we look forward to greater prosperity for everybody and more opportunities to compete.”

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