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Hortonworks loses membership to $1-billion club ahead of IPO

Hortonworks Inc., a startup that focuses on a free suite of software known as Hadoop, has lost its membership to the $1-billion valuation club.

The Palo Alto, California-based startup, which is planning to go public, has an implied valuation of $496-million to $579-million, according to a regulatory filing today. The valuation is based on the company's plans to price its initial public offering at $12 to $14 a share, multiplied by its outstanding share count of 41.4 million shares, according to the filing.

That puts Hortonworks's value at less than the $1-billion the company got in March when it raised $150-million in funding from investors including BlackRock Inc. and Passport Capital LLC.

Mike Haro, a spokesman for Hortonworks, declined to comment.

The numbers highlight the disconnect in the valuations of publicly traded companies and privately held startups. Many Silicon Valley technology startups have boosted their valuations to more than $1-billion this year in private funding rounds, as investors have clamored for a piece of their growth at an earlier stage. Yet those valuations haven't necessarily held up as some of those companies have tried to make the leap from being closely held to going public.

Box's Valuation Storage startup Box Inc. recently delayed its market debut amid stock market volatility and after disclosing that its costs had soared far ahead of revenue. In July, after filing to go public, Box raised more private financing at a $2.4-billion valuation, just slightly above the $2-billion it was valued at in December 2013. Box CEO Aaron Levie said in November that "we should not have filed when we did" to go public.

Hortonworks leads a pack of companies seeking to commercialize Hadoop, an open source suite of software that was originally developed at Yahoo! Inc. to help compete with Google Inc. The market for Hadoop products, software and services is projected to reach $50.2-billion in 2020, up from $1.5-billion in 2012, according to a report in March from Allied Market Research.

Hortonworks filed to go public last month and is the first Hadoop company to do so, ahead of rivals MapR Technologies Inc. and Cloudera Inc. Sales in the year that ended in April 2013 rose to $11-million from $1.6-million a year earlier, while its net loss widened to $36.6-million from $11.5-million, according to its filings.

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