SolarWinds goes full circle, files for $500M IPO

SolarWinds goes full circle, files for $500M IPO

Move represents complete turnaround for the privately-held business

Credit: Dreamstime

SolarWinds has filed for an initial public offering (IPO) with plans to sell up to US$500 million worth of shares, three years after the software provider was taken private.

The move represents a complete turnaround for the business, following its acquisition by private equity specialists Silver Lake Partners and Thoma Bravo in October 2015, in a deal worth US$4.5 billion.

At the time, the buyout - which closed in February 2016 - resulted in SolarWinds ceasing trading on the New York Stock Exchange, in a move designed to provide “greater flexibility” to execute on the vendor’s “long-term strategy”.

Fast forward almost three years and a return to the public market is on the cards, under the company’s old symbol of SWI.

“Today, we are a very different company than we were in early 2016,” a company registration statement read.

“While we have remained a leading provider of network management software and remote management and monitoring software for MSPs, we believe our addressable market opportunity is much larger with our recent product additions.”

According to filing documents, SolarWinds works with more than 275,000 customers across 190 countries, leveraging an ecosystem of more than 22,000 managed service providers (MSPs) in the process.

“We have grown our product offerings through organic development and acquisitions of businesses and technologies and have focused on offering more subscription-based products that make our business even more visible and predictable as sales of those products scale,” the statement added.

“We now provide full IT management capabilities across over 50 products that span on-premise, cloud and hybrid IT environments and empower technology professionals to manage their IT environments in ways that we believe distinguish us from our competitors.”

After launching in 1999, SolarWinds went public in 2009, as a point provider of on-premise network management products.

Upon going private however, the vendor branched out into the cloud and MSP markets, growing product offerings and expanding market reach through “organic product development and targeted acquisitions”, while at the same time continuing to invest in on-premise IT management solutions.

As reported by ARN, key acquisitions during this period included the purchase of Trusted Metrics in July 2018, alongside LogicNow in June 2016.

“We extend our sales reach through our MSP customers, who provide IT management as a service and rely on our products to manage and monitor the IT environments of their end customers,” the statement read.

“Our MSP customer base enables us to reach across a fragmented end market opportunity of millions of organisations and access a broader universe of customers.

“We benefit from the addition of end customers served by our MSP customers, the proliferation of devices managed by those MSPs and the expansion of products used by those MSPs to manage end customers’ IT infrastructures.”

From a financial standpoint, SolarWinds recorded revenues of US$398.6 million for the six months ended 30 June, up from US$340 million the year previous.

Meanwhile, the vendor’s net loss widened to US$86.9 million from the previous year loss of US$45.7 million, while operating income increased to US$44.1 million from US$13.9 million.

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