Proofpoint Goes Public
Friday saw Proofpoint (NASDAQ: PFPT), the pioneering security-as-a-service provider that focuses on cloud-based solutions for threat protection, compliance, archiving & governance and secure communications, go public. CEO Gary Steele spoke to Benzinga about the history of the company, the IPO and what the future holds.
Can you give us some background on Proofpoint?
Proofpoint is a cloud-based security compliance company. We solve a broad range of data protection issues for large and mid-size enterprises. We were founded in 2002, and I was part of the founding team. We employ roughly 400 people globally.
Why is now the right time for the IPO?
A couple of reasons. One is our business has grown very nicely. We've scaled to the point where we can deliver a level of predictable results for our investors. Second to that, the security market and the requirements of customers continue to escalate. The securities market very much is at a point where they're demanding solutions to deal with the range of malicious threats to compliance mandates. We're ideally positioned to help them meet their requirements. So it's the combination of the business and its maturity, and the kind of things we can do for our customers that make this a good time to go public.
What do you hope to achieve through the IPO, both financially and regarding the profile of the company?
It really comes down to those two things. Financially what's important to us is we intend to use the proceeds from the IPO to be able to look for small technology-centric acquisitions that ultimately expand our overall product suite and expand the value that we can deliver to our customers. That's the way we're thinking about our proceeds. From a branding and profile perspective, we are calling on the world's largest companies. It's important that they know who we are, to have that level of transparency related to our finances. It really does help drive a higher level of branding, which is obviously critical in the long term.
What is the long term vision?
There are two areas that we focus on. We really combine the best in cloud security and compliance capabilities, delivered as a cloud solution. We're leveraging both of those different market vectors. We fundamentally believe that there's the opportunity to build a new company by combining those two areas and uniquely solving the needs for large enterprise. We built a very robust platform that includes leveraging some of the most innovative big data techniques. When we talk about big data, we mean amassing billions of points of data and being able to analyze them in real time. Be able to better protect our customers against malicious threats as a result of that. That's how we think about that. Fundamentally, we see a significant opportunity going out and solving the needs of big organizations with these capabilities.
Finally, how good did that opening bell sound today (on Friday)?
You know, it was an incredible moment. Standing on the podium with the executive team at Proofpoint, I think everyone felt like it was a great milestone in the company. As we look back, we've had a great ten year history, but it's really the opening of a new chapter for us. The opportunity to deliver value for our public shareholders, at the same time creating great value for our customers.
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