Hortonworks has filed for an IPO

Hortonworks, a Silicon Valley-based open-source platform for storing and analyzing big data, this afternoon filed for a $100 million IPO, becoming the first Hadoop company to do so.. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol HDP.

Hadoop is one of the hottest open source frameworks for storing and analyzing chunks of data. It helps developers and enterprises to build solutions for what many call “big data,” which has become a multi-billion dollar industry. IDC predicts the big data market will become a $100 billion industry by 2020, with Hadoop comprising half of its value.

Hortonworks previously filed confidentially with the SEC, via a 2012 JOBS Act provision, the federal law that allows companies with less than $1 billion in annual revenue to undergo much the process confidentially. If it wanted to actually list in calendar 2014, this was basically its last week to make the S-1 public (due to a combination of holidays and regulatory waiting periods).

The filing makes for interesting reading – 2013 saw the company earn $11 million in revenue and make a net loss of some $36.6 million. For the first half of 2014 is grew its loss to $86.7 million while revenue was up to $33.3 million.

HP made a $50M equity investment in Hortonworks in July, while Blackrock and Passport Capital led a $100M funding round back in March. Hortonworks’ valuation is over $1 billion dollars. In terms of the capitalization table, Yahoo is still Hortonwork’s biggest shareholder, with almost 20 percent of total equity. Benchmark Capital holds around 19 percent, an its partner, Peter Fenton, sits on the Hortonworks board.

Hortonworks’ business model is more dependent than others’ on open-source software—meaning the software itself is free, but the company charges for regular updates and other services. Rival companies maintain some open-source software but sell proprietary add-ons as well as services.

The biggest challenge to Hortonworks may be Cloudera’s partnership with Intel Corp. In May, Intel invested $740 million in Cloudera, which has raised more than $1 billion at a valuation of about $4.1 billion. Intel is integrating Hadoop into its chip sets. Similar to Intel’s previous investments in open-source software vendors VMware Inc. and Red Hat Inc., the bet is that in a few years, this will be a commonplace technology.

Cloudera CEO Tom Reilly said in an interview that his company wasn’t yet ready for an IPO, although its revenues and customer numbers were double those of Hortonworks, which said it had just under 300 customers, including partners. Cloudera was also losing money, but at a lower rate, he said. “We would like to be a public company, and we will do it on our time,” he said. Unlike Hortonworks, which received a sizable portion of its revenue from its partnership with Microsoft, Cloudera’s revenue came entirely from paying clients, Riley said.

Another Hortonworks rival, MapR, has said it would go public next year.

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