Shares in Silicon Valley tech unicorn Zscaler, which sells cloud security software that allows IT departments to monitor all traffic on corporate networks at the same time as shielding it, surged in their trading debut on Friday morning, after the firm priced its IPO late on Thursday at $16, above its already elevated range.
Zscaler, with its pitch of being a cloud native, while established rivals had been forced to adapt to “networks”, becoming distributed global data centers supporting employees who log on from a variety of devices to a multitude of apps, saw its $16-per-share price value the company at $1.88bn, leading stock to soar 70% in early trading.
Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs acted as the lead underwriters on Zscaler's IPO, which was initially planned to release 10m shares with a price tag of around $10-12 per share, but at the last minute, chose to bump the price range to 12m shares at $13-15 each, meaning the group which was privately valued at more than $1bn in its last round of private funding was headed for a valuation in excess of $1.5bn at its IPO price.
Zscaler has managed to improve its revenues at a strong rate, but continued to see its losses widen as sales grew from $53.7m to $80.3m to $125.7m over its last three trading years years, the most recent of which having ended on 31 July 2017, and in the first six months of its current fiscal year, Zscaler said it had gained $84.8m in revenue, versus the $56.2m in the same period twelve months earlier.
However, across the same years, Zscaler returned net losses of $12.8m, $27.4m and $35.5m, and warned investors that it expected to continue incurring losses for some time, as in the first six months of its trading year, the Nasdaq-listed group lost $17.9m, expanding upon its loss of $14.6m from the same period a year prior.
The firm's growth plans are principally targeted on a general expansion of its overseas presence, specifically eyeing off Japan as a starting point to kick off its presence in its Asia Pacific segment, which currently makes up just 8% of its revenue.
As of 1700 GMT, shares had rocketed 71.06% to $27.37 each.