Zscaler Stock Climbs 106% in Market Debut

The strong opening day for the network security firm may be a positive sign for other tech unicorns IPOs such as Dropbox and Spotify.
Matthew HellerMarch 16, 2018

Shares in network security firm Zscaler had a strong market debut on Friday, rising to more than double the offering price in a positive sign for upcoming listings of tech unicorns.

Zscaler’s IPO hadn’t received the hype of Dropbox, which is scheduled to go public next week, or Spotify. But the offering of 12 million shares at $16 per share was above the already elevated range of $13 to $15 and, by Friday’s close, the stock had risen to $33.

The day’s big jump gave Zscaler a valuation of $3.87 billion. It was privately valued at more than $1 billion in its last round of private funding, according to VentureSource.

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As MarketWatch reports, cloud storage firm Dropbox and music streaming service Spotify “are expected to enter the public markets within weeks, and the reaction to Zscaler could indicate appetite for venture-backed startups” after a slow start to the year for IPOs.

“Through March 9, 25 U.S. IPOs had raised more than $11 billion … but volatility in large indexes like the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average in early February spooked prospects into holding off,” MarketWatch said.

In its prospectus, Zscaler described itself as a leader in cloud-based network security for businesses, with 2,800 customers. Founded in 2007, it reported revenue of $125.7 million in 2017, up 57% from the prior year, and a net loss of $45 million.

But over the same period, the company posted net losses of $12.8 million, $27.4 million and last year’s $35 million.

“The growing use of cloud services from Amazon, Microsoft and others has significantly increased cybersecurity business risks, which Zscaler aims to solve,” Investor’s Business Daily said.

With 100 data centers across the globe, Zscaler provides security checkpoints through which companies can run their traffic. According to its chief executive and founder, Jay Chaudhry, businesses can no longer rely upon solely upon traditional network security as more and more enterprise applications move to the cloud.

“Think of us like an international airport that has to inspect the people moving in and out…without slowing people down,” he told MarketWatch.