CrowdStrike IPO Filing Touts Security Software

“We believe we are defining a new category called the Security Cloud," the company says in its prospectus.
Matthew HellerMay 15, 2019

Cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike has filed to go public, pitching itself as the creator of a “fundamentally new approach” to protecting enterprises from a growing proliferation of threats.

CrowdStrike is known for its investigation of the Russia-linked hack of the Democratic National Committee in 2016. But in its prospectus for an initial public offering, it focused on the security software it sells on a subscription basis.

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“We believe we are defining a new category called the Security Cloud, with the power to transform the security industry much the same way the cloud has transformed the CRM, HR, and service management industries,” CrowdStrike said.

The company’s Falcon platform is designed to detect security breaches before they happen while tracking activity on desktops, server computers, and other “endpoint” devices. Customers include Credit Suisse, Australian mobile phone company Telstra, Tribune Media, and Amazon Web Services. The company estimates the total addressable market will be worth $29.2 billion by 2021.

“The architectural limitations of legacy security products, coupled with a dynamic and intensifying threat landscape, are creating the need for a fundamentally new approach to security,” the prospectus said.

CrowdStrike is expected to seek a valuation that is higher than the $3.4 billion it was figured to be worth in a funding round last June. Of the six notable tech IPOs so far this year, two are broadly in the enterprise software market — PagerDuty and Zoom.

According to CrowdStrike, its subscription customer base more than doubled to 2,516 over the year ended Jan. 31, 2019. Total revenue increased 125% to $118.8 million in 2018 while net losses rose slightly to $140.1 million from $135.5 million.

TechCrunch noted, however, that as with other tech “unicorns,” CrowdStrike’s “financials are a bit concerning” as it spends heavily on its salesforce. In 2018, the company posted a gross profit of $163 million on total operating expenses of about $300 million.

It also “operates in a very competitive market against rivals like antivirus companies McAfee and Symantec and other software security vendors such as Cylance, Carbon Black, Palo Alto Networks, and FireEye,” CNBC said.