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Pure takes first step to go public, files for IPO

Pure Storage today filed for an initial public offering (IPO) in hopes of becoming the second all-flash storage array vendor to go public following Violin Memory.

In its filing with the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission, Pure claimed it has more than 1,100 customers since launching its FlashArray platform in 2012 as one of the early all-flash startups on the market. Pure was second in market share behind EMC in all-flash arrays in 2014 according to analyst firms IDC and Granter.

Pure’s filing put its 2014 revenue at $174 million, more than quadrupling its 2013 revenue. Pure reported $74 million in revenue in the first quarter of this year, tripling its revenue from the first quarter of 2014.

However, Pure continues to sustain heavy losses. It lost $183 million in 2014 following losses of $79 million the previous year and $23 million in 2012. In the first quarter of 2015, Pure lost $49 million. Pure has 1,100 employees.

Despite its rapid revenue growth, Pure remains far behind EMC, which forecasts $1 billion in sales of its XtremIO all-flash array for 2015. While Pure has been by far the leader among the group of startups that entered the market around the same time, it also faces increased competition from all the major storage vendors who have added all-flash systems.

The SEC filing said Pure hopes to generate at least $300 million from its IPO, but will probably seek more. No date for the IPO is set, but it is unlikely to happen before late 2015 or early 2016.

Pure has raised $531 million in eight funding rounds, and its valuation was placed at more than $3 billion during its last round.

Pure executives hope they can go public more successfully than Violin, which is still struggling with losses and its $2.33 share price is less than one-third of its disappointing $9 IPO price from 2013.

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