Cloud Security Vendor Qualys Goes Public

The company, which sells its flagship QualsGuard Cloud Platform, is hoping to raise more than $98 million to invest in people, capital, sales and R&D.

Qualys, which offers cloud security solutions, is the latest tech company to go public, with an initial offering Sept. 28 that company executives hope will raise more than $98 million.

Qualys officials talked about an initial public offering (IPO) earlier this month, saying at the time that they hoped to sell almost 7.6 million shares for between $11 and $13 a share, with the goal of raising $98.9 million. At the time, they said they wanted to use the money for capital expenditures as well as making new hires, investing in sales and marketing, and growing the company’s research and development budget.

According to some reports, Qualys share prices hit the market Sept. 28 right in range with expectations, selling at $12 million on Nasdaq and rising to about $12.25 around mid-day. Aside from Qualys itself, Hewlett-Packard reportedly is the largest seller, which is selling all if its 496,066 shares of Qualys stock.

Qualys, which was founded in 1999, offers its QualysGuard Cloud Platform, a cloud-based managed-security service that enables businesses to better understand the security issues in their infrastructures. The flagship QualysGuard offering is particularly useful to companies that run distributed data centers and IT infrastructures. Through the security as a service offering, businesses can identify the various IT assets on their networks, collect and analyze the IT security data generated by their infrastructures, find and fix vulnerabilities and malware, and ensure compliance with internal policies and external regulations.

The company’s QualysGuard Cloud Suite of solutions includes its Vulnerability Management, which automates network auditing and vulnerability management; Policy Compliance, for reducing internal and external risks; and Web Application Scanning, for identifying Web application vulnerabilities.

According to a report in MarketWatch, Qualys saw revenue jump to $43.4 million in the first two quarters, a 20 percent increase from the same six months in 2011. However, it lost $600,000, due in part to increased sales and marketing activities. It was profitable from 2009 to 2011.

Qualys is the latest tech company to go public this year, with most of the others overshadowed by Facebook’s giant offering in May. Other high-profile offerings included Palo Alto Networks, which makes next-generation firewall software. Palo Alto Networks went public in July hoping to raise as much as $250 million, and reportedly has seen a 50 percent increase since.

Another cloud IT company that has done well since its IPO earlier this year is Splunk, whose technology enables businesses to monitor the massive amounts of data being generated by IT systems and infrastructure, whether they’re physical, virtualized or in the cloud. Using Splunk’s solutions, businesses can not only monitor the data, but search, analyze and act on the data.

According to reports, Splunk more than doubled in value since its initial offering in April.