Big data pioneer Cloudera reportedly planning an IPO later this year

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Big data company Cloudera Inc. could be heading for an initial public offering sometime this year, after it reportedly hired underwriters to help prepare the company for the move.

Bloomberg broke the news, citing the usual “people with knowledge of the matter.” It said Cloudera is seeking to raise $4.1 billion valuation for its IPO, which is a similar figure to what was touted three years ago when the company fetched its last, $900 million private funding round led by Intel Corp. The company has reportedly notified a number of firms that they’ve been chosen to lead its IPO, Bloomberg’s sources said.

The U.S. market for technology IPOs has gotten off to a quiet start in 2017, but will face its first major test this week when Snap Inc., maker of the popular SnapChat messaging app, goes public later today. Snap is seeking to raise up to $3.2 billion in its IPO, which would value the company at around $18.5 billion. Two other enterprise tech firms, MuleSoft Inc. and Alteryx Inc., have also filed to go public later this month, which should help to provide a better idea of investor’s appetites in the current market.

Cloudera’s IPO would be significant because it would be only the second big data company besides Hortonworks Inc. to go public. No longer really a startup, Cloudera was founded nine years ago. Hortonworks, which has been increasingly at odds with Cloudera ever since it formed the controversial Open Data Platform initiative, became the first major Hadoop vendor to launch an IPO in December 2014, when it raised $100 million to bring its total valuation to over $1 billion.

Cloudera creates tools and services for big data, machine learning and analytics based around the open-source big data framework Hadoop. The company’s technology platform helps enterprises to grapple with the massive amounts of data they accumulate, organize and analyze it, then use it to make more informed business decisions in real-time. The big data space is a fairly crowded one, with companies including Hortonworks and MapR Technologies Inc. offering solutions that compete with Cloudera’s products.

Image: Cloudera