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Amazon and Microsoft Rival Snowflake Files for IPO

By Danny Vena – Aug 25, 2020 at 11:39AM

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The pandemic has provided a significant boost to cloud computing stocks, and this company wants in on the action.

Snowflake, a cloud data management company, filed a preliminary S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) yesterday in preparation for its initial public offering (IPO). It plans to trade on the New York Stock Exchange using the ticker symbol "SNOW." Since this is the company's initial regulatory filing, Snowflake listed a $100 million dollar placeholder as the amount it hopes to raise, and has yet to disclose how many shares it will offer or a timeline for its debut.

The company provides data warehouse technology that helps businesses store and manage data in the cloud, putting it into direct competition with three of its biggest infrastructure partners: Amazon (AMZN 1.20%) Web Services, Microsoft (MSFT -0.20%) Azure, and Alphabet's (GOOGL -0.58%) (GOOG -0.36%) Google Cloud. 

Cloud computing icons superimposed over a blurry data center in the background

Image source: Getty Images.

For the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2020, Snowflake reported revenue of nearly $265 million, up 173% year over year, while its net loss of $349 million worsened from a loss of $178 million during the prior year. The company kept up its frantic pace of growth for the first six months of this year, with revenue of $242 million, up 133%, while trimming its losses to $171 million from $177 million in the prior-year period.

Snowflake reported impressive customer metrics as well. Total customers grew to 2,392 last fiscal year, up 169%, while those that provided trailing-12-month revenue of more than $1 million grew to 41, up 193%. For the first six months of this year, its customer base doubled to 3,117, while those providing $1 million in revenue grew to 56, up 155%. Additionally, existing customers were spending 58% more this year than last.

Snowflake is hoping to tap several massive opportunities. Management estimates the cloud data platform market at $81 billion, while its analytics data management and integrations platforms and its business intelligence and analytics tools address $56 billion and $84 billion markets, respectively. 

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Teresa Kersten, an employee of LinkedIn, a Microsoft subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Danny Vena owns shares of Alphabet (A shares), Amazon, and Microsoft. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), Amazon, and Microsoft and recommends the following options: long January 2021 $85 calls on Microsoft, short January 2021 $115 calls on Microsoft, short January 2022 $1940 calls on Amazon, and long January 2022 $1920 calls on Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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