ForeScout Foreshadows IPO With Confidential Filing

A year after cybersecurity startup ForeScout Technologies told media outlets it was considering a public offering, the company has followed through by filing confidentially for an IPO, according to TechCrunch. Like Snap, the messaging app that’s set to publicly file its IPO later this week (at least, that’s what we’re all waiting for—hurry up, Snap…), ForeScout submitted a regulatory filing through a provision in the 2012 JOBS Act that allows businesses with under $1 billion in revenue to file privately.

ForeScout

ForeScout

The Bay Area company reached unicorn status last January with a $76 million funding that nearly quadrupled its valuation; just a year earlier, it was valued at $257 million with a $30 million round. ForeScout, which offers a platform designed to enable companies to control and secure their devices across the Internet of Things, has raised about $150 million total since it was founded in 2000. Backers include Accel, Pitango Venture Capital and Meritech Capital Partners.

Assuming ForeScout completes its public offering in the next few months, it will become one of the first tech companies to test the IPO waters this year, following a relatively barren 2016: Last year, just 40 VC-backed US startups completed an IPO, the lowest number since 2009.

When Snap reportedly filed confidentially for its IPO in November, it was one of the last tech companies in 2016 to signal its intent to go public. In doing so, the Snapchat parent brought the confidentiality clause of the JOBS Act into the public eye, but it certainly wasn’t the first company to take advantage of it. The number of confidential IPO filings from so-called emerging growth companies—those with $1 billion in revenue or less—totaled 204 in 2016, per a review of SEC filings from Axios. Since the provision was enacted five years ago, 1,250 companies have filed in private, per Axios.

While we wait for ForeScout to file public documentation and complete its IPO, likely to happen sometime in the coming months, here are five more cybersecurity firms on the verge of an exit.
If you’re interested in digging into more data behind IPOs check out our free 2016 US PE & VC IPO Trends Report, which breaks down performance and offers analysis across various sectors.

Article by Dana Olsen – PitchBook