Wireless technology provider Ubiquiti Networks Inc recently became the latest infrastructure company to file for an initial public offering. Boingo Wireless went public in May, and Fusion-io followed this month.
On Wednesday, Sequoia Capital’s Michael Goguen noted the renewed interest in this space during a panel at GigaOM’s Structure conference: “To me, being a guy investing in infrastructure for 15 years, it’s an exciting time for the first time in a while,” he said. “There was a period where there wasn’t a whole lot going on. Architecture was stable, and big vendors dominated.” But now, the emergence of the cloud has caught big vendors “rather flat-footed,” he said. “There are a whole lot of holes to fill and room for startups.”
Ubiquiti, based in San Jose, Calif., hopes to fill some of those holes. The company filed paperwork last week with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering and is looking to raise up to $200 million. Details are scant. The company hasn’t revealed information on stock price or timing, saying only in its S-1 filing that the funds would be used to bulk-up working capital and “general corporate purposes.”
Ubiquiti is focused on providing wireless-networking solutions in under-served areas, such as emerging markets. Its products include radios, antennas and management tools that have been designed to deliver carrier class performance for wireless networking.
The news of the filing comes the same week the National Venture Capital Association and Deloitte & Touche LLP put out a global survey showing VCs the world over believe the level of IPOs is too low to support the industry. But perception and reality can be two different things, Goguen said.
“In the last six months, there have been 33 technology companies going public for a total of more than $16 billion in exits,” he said. “Things are clearly picking up.” It’s still too soon to tell how things will pan out, especially considering that the results of the two most recent IPOs are mixed. While Fusion is exceeding expectations on the open market, Boingo’s stock price has dropped 40 percent since its opening.