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Networking & Communications

Acacia's $125M IPO filing a rarity among networking firms in 2015

Acacia Communications, an optical networking company that boosts bandwidth for cloud and other service providers, Monday filed for an IPO -- a rarity during a year in which the number of tech companies going public is at its lowest since 2009, the year Acacia launched.

The $125M filing to go public comes during a year when the rise of the Unicorn, private companies with valuations of $1 billion or more, has blown away the tech IPO market. Tech IPOs this year have included those by First Data, Rapid7 and Pure Storage.

MORE: Hottest network & computing startups of 2015

Acacia -- not to be confused with 1990s stackable switch maker Acacia Networks -- would be listed as ACIA on Nasdaq assuming its IPO goes through in early 2016. Lead underwriters are Goldman Sachs, BofA/Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank Securities, while top venture backers include Matrix Partners, Commonwealth Capital Ventures and Summit Partners.

The Maynard, Mass., company, which employs 189 people and whose founders hail from since-acquired optical networking company Mintera, reveals in its S-1 filing with the SEC that it roughly doubled revenue from 2013 to 2014 to about $146 million. It has increased revenue as well in the first nine months of 2015 vs. the first nine months of 2014.

And the shocker: The company is actually profitable. Acacia began shipping its high-speed, energy-efficient products in 2011 and now has 20 customers, including ADVA, ZTE Kangxun Telecom and Alcatel-Lucent. Acacia had a nice connection at AlcaLu -- CEO Raj Shanmugaraj previously was vice president of business development in the optical networking division of Alcatel-Lucent USA.

Competitors listed in the SEC filing include Oclara, which bought the founders' Mintera back in 2010, as well as "with internally developed coherent interconnect solutions of certain network equipment manufacturers" such as Ciena, Infinera, Huawei and Cisco.

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