Search software company Elastic files to go public 

Elastic, a software developer that helps companies embed search functions in their apps, is gearing up for an IPO, joining a crop of subscription software businesses to hit the public markets this year.

The company said in its prospectus on Wednesday that it plans to debut on the New York Stock Exchange under ticker symbol ESTC.

Elastic generates revenue through subscriptions to a commercialized version of the Elasticsearch open-source software, and customers include Uber, Walgreens, Adobe, Merck and Sprint. In the latest quarter, sales jumped 79 percent to $56.6 million, but the company reported a net loss of $18.6 million because of surging costs for research and development and sales and marketing.

IPOs have picked up in 2018 for business software companies, with Dropbox, Zuora, DocuSign and Domo all debuting for public market investors. Elastic’s IPO would mark another milestone for open-source companies, which have gained traction in recent years. Cloudera, Hortonworks and MuleSoft have all gone public. Salesforce acquired MuleSoft for $6.5 billion earlier this year, and Microsoft bought privately-held GitHub for $7.5 billion.

Customers can use Elastic’s cloud-based version or set up and manage the software themselves. The company’s products have been downloaded more than 350 million times since the beginning of 2013.

When it comes to competition, Elastic cited public cloud providers like Amazon and Google as well as analytics company Splunk. Google is also a competitor in the search market.

Elastic said it has partnerships with Google and Alibaba that have enabled Elasticsearch services on their clouds, as well as relationships with Microsoft and IBM that have brought “templates” to simplify the deployment of Elasticsearch.

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