Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

And It’s Off: Splunk Rockets 108 Percent in IPO Debut

Here’s another thing about big data: How about a big IPO debut? That’s what shareholders of Splunk got today when the company’s stock opened trading today on the Nasdaq.

Priced yesterday at $17 a share, they closed their first day of trading at more than twice that: $35.08, making for an improvement of more than 108 percent.

That should bring big smiles to the faces of principals and partners of its two biggest shareholders: Sevin Rosen Funds and August Capital each hold stakes in Splunk worth, on paper, north of $570 million.

Splunk’s specialty, as CEO Godfrey Sullivan told me last year, is harvesting data from machines: Web servers or any industrial or other machinery that does something several times a minute, hour or day. If it can be measured it can generate data — data that, when examined, can be made useful.

Here’s a bit of useful data: $240 million. That’s what the 6.9 million shares Sullivan owns are worth on paper as of today’s closing price. I wonder if there’s a way to use Splunk to measure how many times he and his employees smiled today?

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik