PubNub to raise Series C in 1H2015, IPO possible, CEO says

Nov 20, 2014
unnamed PubNub, which helps software developers build real-time applications, will look to secure new financing in the first half of 2015, as it looks to double down in fast growing verticals, said CEO Todd Greene. The company also has received interest from potential acquirers in the last six months, but Greene said the company could be a public company in three years as it continues to grow and adds new features to its platform. The San Francisco-based company is experiencing about 50% quarter-to-quarter growth and has revenue from more than 60 countries, said Greene. PubNub, which has 50 employees, also is growing its customer base by 4% to 5% monthly, with only about a 1% churn rate, added Greene. The company’s revenues are about evenly split between the US and internationally, he said. PubNub provides the cloud infrastructure and connections for real-time interactivity so developers can build real-time apps like live dashboards and data streams and machine-to-machine signaling for any device. Greene co-founded PubNub in 2010 after watching large technology companies such as Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) build real-time data services that were very proprietary and expensive for customers. PubNub has grown from 50 customers in 2011 to more than 1,000 today and is adding about 60 per month, said Greene. He added the company has gone from 20,000 transactions per minute on their network last year to about three million now. PubNub has about 200 million devices monthly do computing in its stream, said Greene. Greene said the company is in more than 20 verticals, but may look to push high-growth ones in the future. The company started mainly in the social and gaming sectors, then into digital advertising and is now seeing growth in the financial industry and different parts of the device-to-device segments that make up the Internet of Things. The company’s clients include Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and CBS. PubNub competes with websocket companies like Kaazing, and more directly with Pusher and Firebase— which was acquired by Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) last month. Greene said one of the things that helps differentiate PubNub is the breadth of devices that can use its network, as it is not just on smart phones, but also things like connected car dashboards and devices in the home. Greene said logical buyers likely would come from three different areas — cloud companies like Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), content delivery networks such as Akamai Technologies (NASDAQ: AKAM) or possibly verticals solutions, such as those concentrating on gaming, social or the Internet of Things. The company has raised more than USD 15m in venture funding, including a USD 11m Series B round it announced in September 2013 led by Scale Venture Partners with participation from existing investors Relay Ventures and TiE Angels. Greene was the CEO of Loyalize, a second-screen technology platform, when Viggle (NASDAQ: VGGL) acquired it in 2012. The Northern California company uses Goodwin Procter LLP as legal advisor.