MongoDB, the NoSQL open-source database company founded in 2007, has filed for IPO in a public share offering that is expected to value the company at $1.6bn or more.
The filing, made confidentially under a provision of the 2012 JOBS Act, was made within recent weeks, with the intention of going public before the end of the year. It comes after the Wall Street Journal reported in May that the company had hired Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to underwrite an imminent share issue.
However, until the details of the company's financials are revealed there will remain questions over MongoDB's financial growth, profitability and valuation. In 2015, Wikibon analyst Jeff Kelly estimated the company's 2014 revenues at just $46m, an estimate that might call into question the company's valuation of $1.6bn set during its last venture funding round.
Indeed, back in 2015, CEO Dev Ittycheria admitted that less than five per cent of MongoDB's user base were paying customers.
MongoDB was founded in 2007 by the same team - Dwight Merriman, Eliot Horowitz and Kevin Ryan - behind internet advertising company DoubleClick, now owned by Google.
Known as 10gen back in 2007, it has received more than $300m in venture capital funding from investors that include Intel Capital and Sequoia Capital - as well as Goldman Sachs, which will also be underwriting the share offering.
It was originally developed as a component of a platform-as-a-service product, but the company subsequently shifted focus to its underlying NoSQL database, adopting an open-source development and distribution model. MongoDB's commercial model comes from offering support and other services around the core database.
It changed its name to MongoDB - from the word humongous - in 2013.
Matt Cain, the CEO of MongoDB's NoSQL database rival Couchbase, was quick off the mark with comment.
"Companies are racing to create new digital services that are engaging, highly responsive and able to meet fast-evolving customer demands so they can compete successfully today and into the future.
"The database is at the crux of digital transformation, and MongoDB's planned IPO validates a larger shift in the market that Couchbase has been seeing as a strong player in this space for many years," said Cain.
Couchbase, meanwhile, has in the past questioned the scalability of MongoDB, claiming that it suffers from architectural issues.
"We have had a lot of customers that started out at Mongo that switched to Couchbase, and DataStax have had a lot of customers who have switched from Mongo to Cassandra because of scalability and performance," Couchbase's then-CEO, Bob Wiederhold, told Computing in September 2015.
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