America's enterprise tech IPO season is finally about to begin as Mulesoft files for its float

MuleSoft Ross MasonMuleSoftMuleSoft founder Ross Mason

A number of enterprise tech companies are expected to go public this year and it looks like Mulesoft could be the first out of the gate. The company just filed documents with the SEC to go public.

The key stats are:

  • Total revenue for 2016 $US187.7 million, up from $US110.3 million in 2015
  • Gross profit in 2016 of $US138.7 million (before items like R&D, sales and marketing and G&A), up from $US78.1 million in 2015
  • Net loss: -$US49.6 million in 2016, down from -$US64.6 million in 2015.

Mulesoft offers a cloud platform for what’s known as “application programming interfaces,” or APIs. These are what allows different apps and technologies to talk to one another. Mulesoft makes it easier for tech products to integrate, work together and share data and information.

It was founded by Ross Mason as a small open-source project in 2003 when he and his wife were living on the island of Malta. He was working as a corporate IT developer, struggling to make applications talk to each other, and he complained about it until his wife told him to stop complaining and do something.

Initial success grew by word of mouth and Mason tried to run the company from Malta. That had him constantly on a plane until he relocated to San Francisco. After that, the company did really well and raised $US259 million total of venture capital at a valuation of $US1.5 billion.

Mulesoft hasn’t priced its shares yet, but there’s a good chance its IPO won’t value the company quite as high, according to the database that tracks such things, Pitchbook. Mason still owns about 6% of the company, though he’s no longer CEO. He became the VP of product strategy when Greg Schott took the CEO role a couple of years ago. Although Mason remains listed on the company’s management team page, he is not named as an executive in this filing.

The first big enterprise tech IPO of 2017 was supposed to be AppDynamics, but Cisco scooped it up for a premium price the day before it was scheduled to start trading.

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