May 4, 2018

Carbon Black's long road to IPO

Source: Nasdaq

Cybersecurity company Carbon Black went public on Friday, raising $152 million in its IPO and closing its first day of trading up 26%.

Big picture: This was one of the first companies created on the thesis that traditional anti-virus software didn't work, but for a while it looked as if it had actually launched too early.

Mall rats
  • Carbon Black (then known as Bit9) was founded in a small office in East Cambridge, Mass., further incubated in the suburban Boston offices of venture capital firm Highland Capital Partners, and later would move into space inside an old shopping mall.
  • Among the "mall employees" was Dropbox founder and CEO Drew Houston, who eventually left to pursue his storage startup idea full-time.
  • Highland's Paul Maeder says that CEO Patrick Morley reached in early 2014 for additional funding, but Highland no longer had enough money in the fund that had originally invested 10 years earlier. Morley told Maeder the company's entire future was at stake, and asked him to consider investing out of a newer fund — a complicated cross-fund investment plan that VCs usually try to avoid. But Maeder decided to negotiate with investors to make it work.
  • Soon after, Bit9 acquired Carbon Black, a smaller Pennsylvania startup whose CEO had experience at both the NSA and CIA. The combined company was initially called Bit9 + Carbon Black, but eventually went simpler. "Carbon Black is just a much better name," Maeder says.
Going public
  • The company first began prepping for an IPO nearly two years ago, going so far as to hire bankers, but then held off so that it could purchase and integrate an antivirus company called Confer.
  • It's still unprofitable, but revenue climbed from $116 million in 2016 to $162 million in 2017.
  • Carbon Black had a fully-diluted market value of $1.6 billion at its IPO price, and it now stands at over $2 billion.
  • Maeder: "The two worst things to be as a startup is too early or too late. Too late you can't recover from, but you can survive too early if you have a great CEO and loyal investors."

Go deeper

Trump touts press briefing "ratings" as U.S. coronavirus case surge

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

President Trump sent about a half-dozen tweets on Sunday touting the high television ratings that his coronavirus press briefings have received, selectively citing a New York Times article that compared them to "The Bachelor" and "Monday Night Football."

Why it matters: The president has been holding daily press briefings in the weeks since the coronavirus pandemic was declared, but news outlets have struggled with how to cover them live — as Trump has repeatedly been found to spread misinformation and contradict public health officials.

World coronavirus updates: Total cases surge to over 700,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

There are now than more than 700,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus around the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins. The virus has now killed more than 32,000 people — with Italy alone reporting over 10,000 deaths.

The big picture: Governments around the world have stepped up public health and economic measures to stop the spread of the virus and soften the financial impact. In the U.S., now the site of the largest outbreak in the world, President Trump said Saturday he would issue a "strong" travel advisory for New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 49 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 704,095 — Total deaths: 33,509 — Total recoveries: 148,824.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 132,637 — Total deaths: 2,351 — Total recoveries: 2,612.
  3. Federal government latest: The first federal prisoner to die from coronavirus was reported from a correctional facility in Louisiana on Sunday.
  4. Public health updates: Fauci says 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die from virus.
  5. State updates: Louisiana governor says state is on track to exceed ventilator capacity by end of this week — Cuomo says Trump's mandatory quarantine comments "really panicked" people
  6. World updates: Italy on Sunday reported 756 new deaths, bringing its total 10,779. Spain reported almost 840 dead, another new daily record that bring its total to over 6,500.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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