Shares in 3PAR began trading on the New York stock exchange on Friday, and closed at $15.75, up by a healthy margin on their $14 initial price.
That means that the maker of mid-range and high-end virtualized disk arrays raised $95m, and is valued on the stock market at $945m.
Since it launched its first product just over five years ago, 3PAR has managed to claw itself a foothold in the highly competitive market for high-end storage gear, where its only significant competitors are EMC, Hitachi, IBM, and the OEM customers of Hitachi, Hewlett-Packard and Sun Microsystems.
The company’s revenue is still growing fast. For the year ended March 31 2007, 3PAR’s revenue was $66m, up from $38m for the previous twelve months.
Although 3PAR last year claimed to have made a profit in one of its quarters, its S-1 registration document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission shows that the company is still hovering just below profitability, with a net loss of $15.5m in its fiscal year 2007, and $16.3m in the previous fiscal year.
Demonstrating the current enthusiasm of the stock market for IT stocks, 3PAR’s market capitalization is currently approaching ten times its annual revenue run rate. With a declared second and third calendar quarter 2007 total revenue of $52m, 3PAR’s calendar 2007 revenue probably approaches $100m.
The next storage start-up to IPO will almost certainly be high-end NAS supplier BlueArc. Last week a source at that company described 3PAR as a month ahead of us.