Nutanix Appears To Once Again Be Headed For IPO After Updated SEC Filing

Hyper-convergence startup Nutanix, which filed for an initial public offering in December but reportedly delayed it earlier this year, appears to be once again gearing up to go public.

In an , Nutanix reported a number of figures that illustrate the steady growth of its business over the past few years.

Nutanix, in the filing, said its revenue grew 85 percent to $190.5 million during the first half of its fiscal 2016, which began July 31. During its fiscal 2015, Nutanix saw revenue grow 90 percent year over year to $241.4 million. Gross margin has grown from 56 percent in fiscal 2014 to 63 percent during the quarter ended Jan. 31.

Nutanix said in the filing that it added 494 new customers during the quarter ended Jan. 31, bringing its total customer base to 2,638, including some 250 Global 2000 firms. Big-name customers include Best Buy, Nasdaq, Toyota Motors of North America and the U.S. Department of Defense Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Nutanix has averaged a customer growth rate of 23 percent over the past six quarters, the San Jose, Calif.-based startup said in the S-1 filing.

Jim Steinlage, president of Choice Solutions, a Nutanix partner in Overland Park, Kan., told CRN the startup has steadily been gaining recognition within IT industry circles. "A year ago, we would have to explain what Nutanix is and what they do. But now, people are familiar with Nutanix," Steinlage said.

Nutanix, which has raised more than $312 million in venture funding and has a valuation north of $2 billion, has also been stepping up research and development investments. After spending $73.5 million on R&D in its fiscal 2015, Nutanix spend just under $50 million during the first six months of its fiscal 2016, according to the filing.

After a $126.1 million loss for fiscal 2015, Nutanix reported an additional $71.8 million loss during the first six months of fiscal 2016. As of Jan. 31 Nutanix said it had an accumulated deficit of $345.2 million.

Nutanix is the top startup in the market for hyper-converged infrastructure, which refers to software that combines compute, storage, networking and virtualization on industry-standard x86 servers. Using it, organizations can cut both their storage hardware and management costs, while also shrinking their data center footprint.

Nutanix's technology is used to build private clouds and also runs on Amazon Web Services and the Google Cloud Platform through a partnership with startup Ravello Systems. Nutanix has OEM agreements with Dell and Lenovo, and it also ships its own appliances on white-box hardware from Supermicro.

Last summer, Nutanix unveiled its own KVM-based server virtualization hypervisor and management software, along with technology that automatically migrates VMware-based workloads to KVM and Microsoft Hyper-V server virtualization formats. Nutanix has also begun positioning its technology as a lower-cost alternative to AWS that runs on-premises.

Until recently, Nutanix and SimpliVity -- the No. 2 hyper-convergence player -- were commanding the lion's share of attention in this market. But Cisco Systems and Hewlett Packard Enterprise both debuted hyper-convergence offerings in March and look poised to raise the competitive stakes in this emerging market.

While Nutanix has highly regarded technology, the technology IPO market has been a wasteland for the past several months, and vendors that have tested the waters haven't done well. Nutanix was planning to go public in January, but delayed its plans at the suggestion of its bankers Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan, CNBC reported in February.

But Jeff Guenthner, director of solutions architecture at CMI, a Mill Valley, Calif.-based Nutanix partner, said he believes Nutanix's IPO will amount to a major validation of the market for hyper-converged infrastructure.

Guenthner said CMI, which uses Nutanix technology in its Adaptable Data Center reference architecture, is bullish on Nutanix's prospects.

"With the capital raised through the IPO, we expect more great things to come for Nutanix," Guenthner said. "Nutanix is more than a unicorn -- they're the next great Silicon Valley company."

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