Article

A Look at One of Utah’s Newest Public Companies

Sarah Ryther Francom

August 1, 2012

The number of Utah IPOs has dropped in recent years—no local companies, in fact, have taken the private-to-public leap so far this year. But the IPOs that have happened recently were highly successful. In this issue of Utah Business, we feature Utah’s top public companies ranked by 2011 revenues. See how the companies stack up beginning on page 62.While the list includes many longtime Utah giants, like Huntsman and Zions Bancorporation, there are a few newcomers to the list, including Fusion-io—one of Utah’s newest public companies and a prime example of a recent IPO success story. 

Headquartered in Cottonwood Heights, Fusion-io is considered by many to be one of the state’s most promising tech companies. Launched in 2006 by cofounders David Flynn and Rick White, Fusion-io invented ioMemory—technology that significantly speeds up data used in today’s information-rich world, ranging from online banking to social networking sites. The company, which boasts Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak as chief scientist, has developed industry partnerships with global giants like Dell and HP.

I recently spoke with David Flynn about Fusion-io’s IPO success and the company’s plans for the future. Like many tech companies, Fusion-io started with a goal to solve a seemingly simple problem—slow data processing. “Before we invented ioMemory, data centers were still using slow-spinning, disk-era technology. The resulting data bottlenecks were rapidly becoming a problem in our digital information economy,” Flynn says. “We [started] with a handful of people working on an idea out of a small, borrowed office space in Salt Lake City. Employees worked for little or even no pay. After our first full year selling product, in 2008, we had revenues of $648,000.”

Fusion-io has grown rapidly since its humble beginnings. The company conducted its IPO on June 8, 2011 and was able to sell 12,600,607 shares at $19 each, raising approximately $218.9 million. “An IPO can be very exciting, but it’s important to remember that it is just the beginning,” says Flynn. “It takes more than an idea to achieve success. It takes results, and those come from the contributions of many diverse and talented people working as a team towards a vision.”

The company’s success story has continued since its IPO. Fusion-io now employs more than 600 people around the world, nearly doubling its workforce during the past year, and boasts revenues of $324 million. Today, the company has offices in Colorado and San Francisco and a presence in countries around the world.

Flynn says Fusion-io is poised for greater success due to its continued focus on innovating efficient and powerful products that ultimately help everyone. “With the current growth in cloud computing, big data and virtualization, companies all over the world are seeking new ways to meet those demands without having to scale out servers and add expensive storage sprawl,” Flynn says. “From the largest Fortune 500 companies to growing startups, we’re focused on helping customers do more with less with our innovative approach to application acceleration.”

Like tech giants Novell, WordPerfect and Omniture, Utah’s Fusion-io is another homegrown success that continues Utah’s legacy of tech innovation and is certainly a public company to watch.

From the Editor
Sarah Ryther Francom

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