Arista Files for IPO Seeking $200 Million

The company takes aim at rival Cisco as it looks to expand its reach in the growing cloud networking space.

Arista Networks, led by a former Cisco Systems executive and taking aim at the networking industry leader, is looking to raise $200 million by going public, according to an IPO document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In the initial public offering (IPO) filing, officials with the 10-year-old company said they are looking to leverage Arista's networking offerings—including its Extensible Operating System (EOS), 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet switches and various applications—to continue expanding its reach among large data centers and cloud environments.

"Cloud computing is fundamentally changing the way IT infrastructure is built and how applications are delivered," the officials wrote in the filing. "In cloud computing, applications are distributed across thousands of servers. These servers are connected with high-speed network switches that, together, form a pool of resources that allows applications to be rapidly deployed and cost-effectively updated. Cloud computing enables ubiquitous and on-demand network access to these applications from Internet-connected devices including personal computers, tablets and smartphones."

Most consumer applications are delivered via the cloud, they said, and businesses are moving in the same direction. Arista's technologies and scalable and modular architecture will give the company an advantage over rivals going forward, they said.

Arista, led by President and CEO Jayshree Ullal and co-founded by ex-Sun Microsystems executive Andy Bechtolsheim, counts such cloud providers as Facebook, Microsoft and Yahoo, and financial services firms like Barclays, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley, as customers. The networking company has seen its customer base grow from 570 in December 2010 to 2,340 three years later, and revenues jump from $71.7 million in 2010 to $361.2 million last year.

The company in the filing referred to a potential conflict with a company called Optumsoft, led by former Arista co-founder David Cheriton, which is claiming ownership of some components in Arista's products. No lawsuit has been filed, but in the IPO filing, Arista officials said the company intends to "vigorously defend against any action brought against us by Optumsoft."

Arista's filing comes after two other networking vendors—A10 Networks and Aerohive Networks—raised $187.5 million and $75 million, respectively, in IPOs last month.