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Proofpoint IPO Rides ‘Big Data’ Wave

It's a cloud-based data-security firm with a broad product suite


Proofpoint (NASDAQ:PFPT), a provider of cloud-based security services, hit the IPO market today. The deal was priced at $13, which was above the $10 to $12 range. In today’s trading, the stock is up 9%. The underwriters included Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS) and Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB).

Proofpoint has a comprehensive suite for security. The main areas include email protection, phishing detection, privacy solutions, compliance and archiving.

To better deliver these applications, Proofpoint is based on a cloud platform. But it has taken a unique approach. “Customers can deploy our applications behind the firewall,” said CEO Gary Steele in an interview this morning. “We still get the cost savings from the cloud but also improve the overall security.”

Proofpoint also uses next-generation “big data” technology to help with the analysis. As seen with yesterday’s IPO of Splunk (NASDAQ:SPLK), big data is hot. “Big Data has been the topic of discussion for the past couple days,” said Steele.

Last year, Proofpoint’s revenues climbed 26% to $82 million, but the company suffered a loss of $20 million. It has roughly 2,400 customers, with 26 of the Fortune 100. The company also has key relationships with outfits like IBM (NYSE:IBM), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and VMware (NYSE:VMW).

And the market opportunity is large. “We are focused on the $5 billion data security industry,” said Steele. “But since our suite is so broad, we also have an opportunity to get a piece of the overall security market, which is $26 billion.”

Tom Taulli runs the InvestorPlace blog IPO Playbook, a site dedicated to the hottest news and rumors about initial public offerings. He also is the author of “The Complete M&A Handbook”“All About Short Selling” and “All About Commodities.” Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli or reach him via email. As of this writing, he did not own a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

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