There are dozens of startups hoping for billion-dollar-plus market caps and likely to make their move in the next 12 months, from big data software upstarts to storage technology disruptors.
Timing is everything. By happy coincidence, two business technology companies—data management innovator Hortonworks HDP -0.81% and data analytics upstart New Relic NEWR -1.09% —picked the same inauspicious Friday in mid-December for their public market debuts. Both greeted the weekend boasting billion-dollar capitalizations, on par with their pre-IPO private equity valuations.
Normally that’s not something to brag about. But on a day when the rest of the Nasdaq index gave up 1% of its value, both newcomers overshot their pricing targets by more than 40%.
Yes, you could argue it’s because both companies were smart enough to low-ball their offer ranges. But there’s another reason: The market fundamentals for business technology look strong for the next 12 months. Big companies will expand budgets for information technology by an average 4% to 6% in 2015, according to a January forecast by Forrester Research. The tab could reach $2.34 trillion, with the biggest chunk—$620 billion—allocated for software.
“There is a huge appetite for consuming technology in the enterprise right now,” says Byron Deeter, partner with Bessemer Venture Partners (an early investor in business software powerhouses Cornerstone OnDemand and Skype, among others).
Against that backdrop, there are dozens of late-stage business startups that could face dates with destiny this year. Research firm CB Insights lists 588 companies in its pipeline that collectively have raised $64.3 billion.
Some of the usual suspects for this list—particularly mobile payments company Square (valued at $6 billion or more) and collaboration pioneers Atlassian ($3.3 billion)—habitually shrug off IPO speculation. But here are 10 companies on this year’s more-likely-than-others list, arranged alphabetically, and all hoping to justify billion-dollar-plus private valuations.