Pivotal Software today filed for an initial public offering — and partially answered the question about how Dell Technologies will pay down its debt. The cloud native software company said it plans to raise $100 million for the IPO but that will likely change.
Pivotal started as an EMC-VMware spinoff in 2013. Dell became the majority owner of Pivotal when it merged with EMC. Other investors include Microsoft, Ford Motor Company, and Electric.
The company has raised $1.7 billion to date in three funding rounds.
In its IPO filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Pivotal says its total revenue reached $509.4 million in fiscal 2018, representing 22 percent year-over-year growth. But it’s also losing a lot of money and took a $163.5 million net loss in fiscal 2018.
More recently, it’s become an important piece of VMware and Dell EMC’s container play with Pivotal Container Service (PKS). The companies rolled out PKS in partnership with Google at last year’s VMworld event. It’s the commercial version of open source Project Kubo that lets customers deploy and manage Kubernetes on premises.
As Dell Technologies struggles to pay down debt it incurred as a result of the EMC merger, rumors have swirled around the role — if any — that Pivotal would play. Dell previously floated both the idea of a reverse merger with VMware and an IPO of its own.
In an earlier interview with SDxCentral, IDC analyst Matt Eastwood said it wouldn’t make sense for VMware to buy the whole Dell Technologies shop. Instead, buying some assets — such as Pivotal — would be a smarter move.
“The challenge is, if you were talking to Dell executives — including Michael Dell — I think they see Pivotal as the single biggest asset they can unlock value around,” Eastwood said. “But today it’s still fairly complex to stand up, and probably not at a point where it has reached optimum or peak value. I don’t think they want to put Pivotal in play yet.”