Backblaze — the humble 2021 IPO with big returns - The Average Joe

    Backblaze — the humble 2021 IPO with big returns

    Victor Lei — Head of Research

    November 17, 2021

    backblazez

    November 17, 2021

    Humbly known Backblaze (NASDAQ:BLZE) — providing companies with infrastructure to help store and retrieve cloud files — went public last week — soaring 58% since.

    What’s the big deal? In a year of blockbuster IPOs and mega valuations — with 21 tech companies valued at over $10B upon going public — Backblaze chose a different route.

    • Went public early with less than a billion-dollar valuation and raising less capital than other mega IPOs.
    • Has been incredibly capital efficient — raising only $13M in outside funding before going public — now valued at $750M with $59.9M in sales.

    That’s easier to do when its business pumps cash…

    It’s a lucrative business: Competitor, Amazon, makes 40% of its operating profits from its cloud storage business — despite its e-commerce business being much larger. Backblaze also has a few other similarities to Amazon with both:

    • Having generated $16M in quarterly sales when they went public.
    • Being competitors in the $64.3B cloud infrastructure market.

    The difference — Amazon’s AWS controls 40.8% of the market — with Backblaze having less than 0.1%.

    It’s a competitive industry but luckily for Backblaze, customers habitually choose several cloud platform providers. According to Flexera Software, 92% of companies use multiple vendors to lower cost — with some being better at different applications.

    Cloud growth: COVID accelerated cloud adoption and remote work — also accelerating the need to store all that virtual data. The industry grew a massive 40.8% in 2020 — with growth showing little signs of slowing.

    Companies opting to go public later, at higher valuations made it difficult to find multi-bagger investments. So when investors see a company with such humility, it’s hard not to get excited.

    Must-read: How to find multi-bagger investments — one characteristic — companies with lower valuations.

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