We live in a world where it's common for businesses to tout market caps of hundreds of billions of dollars. And with the digital economy poised to continue expanding at a rapid pace over the next decade, the $1-trillion-valuation club is within striking distance for many of these organizations.
However, some of the best investment returns can come from far smaller businesses that are on paths to potentially reach the $100 billion mark in the future. Three that could get there in the next 10 years are DigitalOcean Holdings (DOCN 1.58%), Dynatrace (DT 1.70%), and SVB Financial Group (SIVB -1.56%). Here's why all three are worth your attention now.
1. DigitalOcean: Basic cloud services for the under-served developer
DigitalOcean is a public cloud infrastructure company that allows developers to build and deploy applications and services. Sound familiar? Three of the largest companies the world has ever seen specialize in this public cloud realm: Microsoft via its Azure platform, Amazon's AWS, and Alphabet's Google Cloud.
Going up against such titans will be no small feat, but DigitalOcean is thriving thus far. How? It focuses on individual developers, start-ups, and small businesses -- an under-served segment of the IT world, since the tech giants can often generate the most growth and profit by focusing on serving large businesses. Under-served does not mean DigitalOcean's targeted market is small, though. On the contrary, the company has cited research from IDC that shows some $44 billion was spent by small- and mid-sized businesses on cloud infrastructure services last year alone. That figure is expected to surge to nearly $120 billion in the next three years.
DigitalOcean is already realizing strong growth. Annualized recurring revenue (ARR) was up 36% year over year in Q2 2021 to $426 million, and given the large and growing market it participates in, the company thinks it has a clear path to reaching $1 billion in ARR over the next few years. But even when it gets there, DigitalOcean will command only a small slice of the small- and mid-sized business cloud computing industry. I expect it to continue growing past that $1 billion ARR mark.
Of course, to maintain its momentum, DigitalOcean will need to add more features to its platform. But it's already doing so, like with its recent acquisition of small cloud infrastructure technologist Nimbella. Its goal is to bring the same level of technological sophistication to its small developer user base as what's available on the large public cloud platforms. The fact this firm is already profitable certainly helps this expansion effort.
It's still early days for DigitalOcean, but it's picking up steam. With a current market cap of just $8.6 billion, this could be a tremendous winner in the decade ahead.
2. Dynatrace: We've made the cloud transition, now what?
The migration to cloud-based operations was already underway before 2020, but the pandemic forced many organizations around the globe to accelerate their operations on this front. But once that cloud transformation is complete, big organizations -- and the massive amount of data they bring with them -- need help managing their newfound 21st century IT infrastructure.
That's where Dynatrace comes in. The software platform has narrowed its focus to the largest companies and organizations in the world, helping them monitor, secure, and fix their cloud operations using analytics and machine learning to automate the process. It's been progressively adding new modules to its hub of services too, so this isn't just a story of new customer acquisition -- existing users continue to ramp up their spending with Dynatrace. The dollar-based net expansion rate was over 120% in the latest quarter, implying existing customers spent at least 20% more than they did a year ago.
As a result, Dyntrace's momentum has been building. It expects ARR to reach at least $984 million by the end of its current fiscal year (which ends in March 2022), representing year-over-year growth of at least 27%. Dynatrace is also highly profitable, generating a very healthy free cash flow profit margin of nearly 39% in the last quarter. That provides a steady stream of fresh capital from which the company can market itself, develop new product features, and make acquisitions (like the recent takeover of high-speed log parsing software firm SpectX).
Dynatrace hasn't gone unnoticed, and share prices are up nearly 200% in the last trailing 12-month stretch alone. Nevertheless, the company's market cap currently stands at $20 billion. With hundreds of billions of dollars being spent on cloud infrastructure worldwide every year and hundreds of billions more on the way in the next decade, there's still a lot to like about this small company's prospects.
3. SVB Financial: Who will bank all those new success stories?
At first glance, SVB Financial -- a bank stock by all accounts -- is a sharp deviation from the previous two tech names. But it really isn't. The company, better known as Silicon Valley Bank, is a top banker to what it calls the "innovation economy." From tech start-ups to their venture capital investors, Silicon Valley Bank serves a special niche in the financial industry.
To be fair, this is a boring-looking business model that makes the majority of its income from interest on deposits and fees. However, as tech continues to make inroads into the global economy and more start-ups go from speculative bets to viable enterprises, those deposits they have on hand at SVB have been steadily increasing too. Plus, as part of financing deals it cuts with its customers, this bank often finds itself with an equity stake in its clients. If a business takes off, it can lead to big windfalls for SVB.
The company is also making a new push into wealth management with its recent acquisition of Boston Private. This gives SVB a powerful way to tap into the success of the innovators it does business with, and could build on the company's long track record of profitable growth. Earnings per share are up over 790% over the last decade, including a year-over-year tripling of earnings in the first half of 2021 as the bank lapped the effects of the pandemic and gets upward lift from the powerful shift toward a more digital world.
With a market cap of $39 billion as of this writing, SVB Financial is already well on its way to hitting the $100 billion valuation mark. But with its technology-powered customers on the rise, there is a lot more room for this banker to run higher in the next 10 years and beyond.