In a move that represents one of the first pure cloud players to go public, Covisint unveiled its initial public offering (IPO) of 6.4 million shares this week. But this isn't a typical Silicon Valley IPO story, as Covisint is a wholly owned subisidary of Compuware, technology performance solutions provider.
Covisint joined the Nasdaq Global Select Market to offer its shares to potential investors at $10 per share, starting yesterday. The shares being offered represent 17.6 percent of its issued and outstanding shares. Credit Suisse acted as the lead bookrunner for the IPO, with Pacific Crest Securities acting as joint bookrunner. Evercore acted as co-manager.
Charles King, president and principal analyst of Pund-IT, called the IPO an "interesting strategy," but because Covisint is a subsidiary of the much-larger Compuware, this IPO "doesn't really fit the classic startup-to-IPO Cinderella story so common in Silicon Valley."
That's not to put the IPO down, but as King noted, it's a better comparison to an HP (HPQ) spinning off an Agilent than it is a startup building to the point of its IPO. Still, chances are there were a few celebrations in the Covisint and Compuware offices when the IPO went live and trading officially began.
"The primary factor here is Covisint's background and success in the hot public cloud market, which I expect Compuware is simply trying to capitalize on. But if the IPO is successful, Covisint may just be the first of other cloud IPOs we see in the coming months," King told Talkin' Cloud.
There's a certain element of this that reminds this aging tech reporter of the glory days of the dot-com boom, but without the complete lack of reason and wisdom. No, both corporate and individual investors in the stock and venture capital worlds had the stuffing kicked out of them back then, and from that beating came a healthy dose of "won't be fooled again."
The biggest certainty right now in this is that King is right; this won't be the last pure cloud player to go public, and chances are we'll start to see some of those smaller startups get to the point where they're ready to start playing on Nasdaq or other stock exchanges. It's all just a matter of time ... and which company is next.