Infinera: $1B IPO Imminent?
The Silicon Valley superstartup with a history of big plans and big numbers appears to be on the verge of going public in an IPO that one source figures could raise nearly $1 billion.
Financial analysts here say Infinera canceled its Globalcomm meetings with them. Usually, that kind of radio silence is precursor to an IPO, as the filing company's lawyers shut everybody up to keep from running afoul of SEC rules.
One financial source, after some mental envelope scrawling, figured an Infinera IPO could raise just less than $1 billion. He pegs the company's annual sales at roughly $100 million -- the company's run rate is already in that neighborhood. He points out that after a few years of fast growth, that could yield a big valuation. (See Infinera Numerates Its Numbers.)
The source added that IPO excitement persists in certain sectors -- and optical is one of these -- despite the debacle of the recent Vonage Holdings Corp. (NYSE: VG) offering. (See Vonage Gets a Haircut.)
Infinera officials declined to comment, although a random Light Reading flyby of Infinera's booth revealed a handful of investment-banker types vying for CEO Jagdeep Singh's attention.
Not that Infinera's story has been a secret. The company, which has crafted a powerful DWDM system that could recast the way optical networks are built, has scored seven wins with six more in the pipeline, Singh says. Customers have included notable names such as FLAG Telecom Ltd. , Level 3 Communications Inc. (NYSE: LVLT), and XO Communications Inc. -- and Infinera added Global Crossing (Nasdaq: GLBC) to the list in an announcement this week. (See Infinera Declares WDM War and Global Crossing Picks Infinera.)
Infinera has been a continual source of buzz since its early days, due to the masses of venture money it raised (more than $250 million by now) and Singh's track record with Lightera, which got acquired by Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) at the height of the telecom bubble. (See More on Infinera (née Zepton).)
Infinera almost certainly isn't profitable, as the company didn't begin shipping systems until mid-2004. But it's growing. It employs more than 250 people and put out a call to hire another 120 here at Globalcomm. (See Infinera Goes Live and Infinera Struts at Globalcomm.)
The company's IPO chances were strong enough to qualify for Light Reading's Top Ten Private Companies recently, and Singh was named among our Top Ten Movers & Shakers in Telecom. (See Infinera Inc. and Jagdeep Singh, CEO, Infinera.)
— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading