A10 Networks Files For $100M IPO

Coming off years of some of its strongest-ever industry notices, application delivery controller manufacturer A10 Networks is going public.

The San Jose, Calif.-based company late Tuesday filed an S-1 form with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, seeking an initial public offering of $100 million. A10 did not disclose a target price for the IPO or the number of shares it expects to sell but did note that it plans to invest in research and development as well as sales and marketing head count with the money it raises.

Founded in 2004, A10's flagship products include its AX Series and, more recently, its Thunder Series application delivery controllers (ADCs), which, in addition to offering the company's usual application and load-balancing services, deliver integrated security features, such as Web application firewalls for website protection and DNS application firewalls for infrastructure protection.

[Related: A10's New Global Sales VP Aims To Drive 'Top-Notch Partner Support']

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A10's revamped Thunder line propelled it to "Challenger" status in Gartner's 2013 Magic Quadrant for the ADC market. Gartner, in the report, identified A10's "increasingly advanced ADC feature set" as a key strength and one that makes the company a solid choice for enterprises seeking more all-inclusive and cost-effective ADC solutions.

A10 has a growing base of solution provider partners who are applauding the company's recent investments in the channel. In November, A10 tapped HP channel marketing executive Kirsten Lee as its first-ever vice president of global channels, a position A10 said is responsible for growing its worldwide partner base and taking the A10 Partner Program to "the next level globally."

A10 also has revamped its partner program and compensation structures over the past two years with the aim of sweetening partner incentives and driving greater partner engagement. The company today has roughly 240 North American channel partners and 550 worldwide.

Mark Miller, principal at M&S Technologies, a Dallas-based solution provider and A10 partner, said he was excited to see that A10 hopes to use the money it raises through the IPO to increase its sales and marketing head count. He said, from a partner perspective, the A10 sales team today seems to be "spread a bit thin," especially as M&S Technologies' A10 business and pipeline continue to grow.

"It looks like [A10] is going to take that money and reinvest it research and development, but also use it to add head count, and I think that’s important," Miller told CRN. "I feel like the coverage they have now is good, but if they could add more people to my territory, here in Texas, I think that would make things a lot better."

A10, which competes against F5 Networks, Citrix Systems, Cisco Systems and Brocade, said in its S-1 filing that its annual revenue for 2013 was $141.7 million, up 18 percent year over year from $120.1 million in 2012. The company, however, reported a loss in 2013 of $27.1 million, which it attributed to legal expenses from its two-year patent dispute with Brocade. The spat started in 2010 when Brocade accused A10 of basing its AX Series on Brocade patents. In January 2013, the San Jose Federal Court ruled that A10 pay $60 million in damages to Brocade and granted Brocade an injunction preventing A10 from selling select products found to infringe on Brocade's patents. Two months later, the companies settled, but terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

A10 Networks' IPO filing comes just day after wireless networking vendor Aerohive Networks filed for its own IPO, seeking up to $70 million.