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CORRECTED-Nutanix exceeds expectations in upsized IPO

(Corrects revenue figure in paragraph 9 to $445 million, not $351 million)

By Lauren Hirsch

Sept 29 Nutanix Inc said on Thursday it sold a more than expected 14.87 million shares priced at $16, valuing the company at more than $2 billion.

San Jose, California-based Nutanix's share price exceeds the $13.40 value last placed on its shares in a 2014 funding round, an upgrade encouraging for the many unprofitable technology companies that, like Nutanix, have been weary of testing public market valuations.

Nutanix sold 14.87 million shares on Thursday, more than the anticipated 14 million. Its $16 IPO price was above its indicated range of $13 and $15.

"Nutanix is a very important deal for technology, because as a deal that will be above its private valuation. It is a sign that there's an appetite for a high-growth company that doesn't yet have earnings," said Kathleen Smith, a principal at Renaissance Capital, which manages IPO-focused exchange traded funds.

Nutanix, which is unprofitable, was valued at $2 billion after its last financing round and delayed its expected January IPO amid market jitters that froze much of the market for technology IPOs.

Many technology companies in Silicon Valley, which has been awash in private funding for the past several years, have enjoyed lofty valuations without being profitable. It has been uncertain whether these companies could beat or even replicate such valuations in the public market. In the latter half of last year into this spring, businesses such as Square Inc had so-called "down-round IPOs", public offerings which valued the company at less than their last private fundraise.

While late-stage investors in these companies can ensure financial protection in such down-rounds through the use of so-called "ratchets", they can hurt company morale and lower the financial return for earlier stage investors.

A recent string of technology IPOs has demonstrated growing investor favor for technology companies. Shares of software company Twilio Inc, which is not profitable are now trading nearly four times above their June IPO price.

Nutanix had revenue of $445 million in its 2016 fiscal year and reported a net loss of $168 million. It acquired two small cloud software acquisitions this summer, PernixData and Calm.io.

Nutanix will use proceeds from the IPO for general corporate purposes and potentially for acquisitions.

It plans to list Friday on Nasdaq under the symbol "NTNX"

Goldman Sachs Group, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase & Co and RBC Capital Markets are among underwriters for the offering. (Reporting by Lauren Hirsch; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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