Tintri up slightly after lowering IPO price

Enterprise cloud company Tintri was supposed to debut on the public markets yesterday with an IPO price between $10.50 to $12.50, but then pushed things back a day and lowered its price to $7. Shares were up about 3.5 percent midday Friday, trading at roughly $7.25 per share.

In what seems to be a tough week for tech IPOs, cooking kit delivery service Blue Apron also significantly lowered its price range after weak investor demand. It could be a sign that the appetite for technology IPOs is cooling.

But Tintri’s business is a lot more like Nutanix or Pure Storage, other venture-backed companies that have gone public in the past two years. Tintri is a flash storage provider, and it also offers cloud storage for large businesses, with a system that will be compatible with Amazon Web Services.

Tintri co-founder and CTO Kieran Harty told TechCrunch they are “providing the AWS-like cloud in your own data center.” He views this as a way for businesses to get “the benefit of the public cloud without the downside.” 

Tintri has more than 1,250 enterprise clients, including Sony Computer, MillerCoors and The Carlyle Group. Harty says their systems are better equipped than some of the competition to “support tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of workloads.”

It brought in $125.1 million in revenue for its latest fiscal year, but its losses were almost as big, in the red for $105.8 million. Yet this is a better ratio than last year when revenue was $86 million and losses stood at $100.1 million. The prior year also had losses that exceeded revenue.

“Sales and marketing” is Tintri’s biggest expense and cost the company $108.9 million this past year. The company also spent $53.4 million on research and development.

In the “risk factors” section of the filing, Tintri warns it has “a history of losses and may not be able to achieve or maintain profitability.” Their accumulated deficit is $338.7 million. “We anticipate that our operating expenses will increase substantially in the foreseeable future as we continue to hire additional employees, develop our technology and enhance our product and service offerings, expand our sales and marketing teams, make investments in our distribution channels, expand our operations and prepare to become a public reporting company,” the filing added.

Tintri also recognizes it faces “intense competition” from “numerous established companies that sell enterprise cloud infrastructure systems or storage solutions.” There’s a long list of data center competitors, including EMC, Dell, NetApp, IBM and VMware. Tintri not only competes with Nutanix and Pure Storage in flash storage, but also Nimble Storage from HP Enterprise.

Nutanix went public last year and has had a volatile ride on the stock market, but it is still trading above its IPO price. This may be a good sign for Tintri if investors consider them a comparable. Pure Storage, however, is trading below its 2015 IPO price, which could be seen as a negative indicator.

The Mountain View, California-based company has raised more than $260 million in funding since 2011. Its valuation at the last funding round was said to be $785 million. This is definitely a “down-round IPO” for the company, with its market cap currently at $225 million. We are increasingly seeing companies debut beneath their last private round, which is a letdown for late-stage investors and also some employees.

New Enterprise Associates (NEA) had the largest stake at 22.7 percent prior to the offering. Silver Lake owned 20.4 percent, Insight Venture Partners owned 20.2 percent and Lightspeed Venture Partners owned 14.5 percent.

The company listed on the Nasdaq, under the ticker “TNTR.” Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch co-managed the IPO.