Nimble Storage, a provider of hybrid storage appliances that pair flash memory and hard drives, has made good on rumors by filing for a $150M IPO under the symbol NMBL. Goldman, Morgan Stanley, Pac Crest, William Blair, Stifel, Oppenheimer, and Needham are underwriting. (S-1)
Nimble asserts its CASL architecture, built to address hybrid appliance needs, offers better performance than traditional systems that offer flash as a caching option (e.g. EMC's VNX, NetApp's (NTAP) FAS line). CASL is also said to support the independent scaling of storage performance and capacity.
Nimble had revenue of $50.6M in the six months ending July 31, +164% Y/Y. Net loss totaled $19.7M, thanks to 100%+ increases in sales/marketing ($31.4M) and R&D ($14.4M) spend. Nimble had 1,750+ cumulative customers as of July, up over 3x Y/Y, and 600+ resellers.
Competition is provided both from incumbents such as EMC, NetApp, H-P, Cisco, and IBM, many of whom have been busy acquiring flash startups, and from smaller firms such as Fusion-io (FIO +2.3%), Violin Memory (VMEM +0.8%), and Nimbus Storage. Violin, which is seeing slower growth and much bigger losses than Nimble, recently turned in a disappointing IPO. Fusion-io entered the hybrid appliance in April by acquiring NexGen Storage.