May 24, 2011

Notes from the Fusion-io S-1 filing

Fusion-io has filed for an initial public offering. With public offerings go S-1 filings which, along with 10-Ks, are the kinds of SEC filing that typically contain a few nuggets of business information. Notes from Fusion-io’s S-1 include:

Fusion-io is growing very, very fast, doubling or better in revenue every 6 months.

Fusion-io’s marketing message revolves around “data centralization”. Fusion-io is competing against storage-area networks and storage arrays.

Fusion-io’s list of application types includes

… systems dedicated to decision support, high performance financial analysis, web search, content delivery and enterprise resource planning.

Fusion-io says it has shipped over 20 petabytes of storage.

Fusion-io has a shifting array of big customers, including OEMs: 

Historically, large purchases by a relatively limited number of customers have accounted for a substantial majority of our revenue, and the composition of the group of our largest customers changes from period to period. Many of our customers make concentrated purchases to complete or upgrade specific large-scale data storage installations. These concentrated purchases are short-term in nature and are typically made on a purchase order basis rather than pursuant to long-term contracts. During fiscal 2010 and the six months ended December 31, 2010, sales to the 10 largest customers in each period, including the applicable OEMs, accounted for approximately 75% and 92% of revenue, respectively. Facebook, Inc. is currently our largest customer and accounted for a substantial portion of revenue during the six months ended December 31, 2010. We expect revenue from sales to Facebook and one other end-user to account for a substantial portion of revenue for the three months ending March 31, 2011, but that revenue from sales to Facebook and the other end-user will decline significantly for the three months ending June 30, 2011 as they complete their planned deployments.

But Fusion-io invests enough in sales and marketing, including direct sales, that I’m guessing they’re out there persuading end-users to ask for product from Dell, HP, and IBM.

Fusion-io’s inventory growth of $23.3 million for the second half of 2010 is close to revenue of $26.0 million. Accounts receivable is a much smaller figure. I’m not sure what all that signifies, but I do find it ironic that Fusion-io’s marketing statements draw an analogy to “just-in-time” manufacturing.

As for what I think about Fusion-io, it starts:

I don’t have strong opinions as to how long the last point will remain true.


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