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Security company Palo Alto Networks filed for a $175 million IPO today.The company sells an appliance known as a firewall, which big companies put on the edge of their networks to block or monitor certain kinds of traffic to prevent malware and viruses and keep confidential information from leaking.
The company has gotten a ton of hype over the last couple of years — it bills its product as a “next generation” firewall that does a better job of monitoring the kinds of Internet-based (cloud) apps that a lot of enterprises are moving to. (Specifically, it actually knows how to block certain applications, not just the ports that certain kind of traffic travel through.)
It’s backing up the hype with fast sales growth, too: according to the S-1 filing, its revenue grew from $10 million in 2009 to $37 million in 2010, then to $85 million last year.
sceptics might argue that Palo Alto’s capabilities will eventually be duplicated by other firewall vendors.
Palo Alto Networks is facing a patent infringement suit from networking giant Juniper, which could dampen investors’ enthusiasm.
The company is seeking a valuation of more than $1 billion, according to a Reuters report from March.