Splunk began its first day on the stock market priced at $17 a share. By the end of the day, the unprofitable business startup was worth $35.08, a 108 percent jump in price that makes the company worth more than $3 billion.
It was the best stock debut of the year, and earned its CEO Godfrey Sullivan $240 million from the 6.9 million shares he owns.
“The market appears to be giving us a first-mover advantage on Big Data,” Sullivan told the Wall St. Journal.
Investors Sevin Rosen Funds and August Capital each own stock in the company currently worth more than $570 million.
Founded in 2004, Splunk helps businesses organize, manage and make sense of their big data. The company aims to make “make machine data accessible, usable, and valuable to everyone,” according to the company’s website. The company strives to be the Google of machine data, searching all data used by servers, network switches or devices. Its name comes is a nod to “spelunking,” otherwise known as caving.
Its 3,300 customers include most of the Fortune 100 as well as a number of governmental agencies, including the likes of T-Mobile, LinkedIn, Salesforce, and Bank of America. It shares partnerships with Microsoft, Cisco, and Vmware.
“By the end of this calendar year, the general public will clearly understand that this big enterprise wave is beginning,” said John Connors, a venture capitalist at Ignition Partners and a Splunk board member, told the Wall St. Journal.
Headquartered in San Francisco, the company has more than 500 employees and eight offices around the globe.
Splunk obviously showcases the latest investment tech surge, exemplified as tech companies like LinkedIn, Groupon, and Zynga have gone to fetch astounding IPOs. Whether a sign of a growing bubble or a reflection of the value of the company’s technology-vested services, Splunk’s stock price will need to be matched by the services it provides its customers. Only time will tell if the company is worth its price or its hype.