Indian-American co-founded Samsara Inc, rises in trading debut after IPO raises $805 million


Samsara Inc., an IoT-based company from San Francisco, co-founded by an Indian American, Sanjit Biswas, has raised $805 million through an initial public offering of shares today ahead of its debut on the market.

The company, whose IPO is likely the last big one in a year of many in 2021, sold 35 million shares at $23 a share, valuing it at $11.4 billion. Underwriters have the option to buy an additional 5.25 million shares, equaling $120.75 million in gross value.

Samsara was founded in 2015. It sells a cloud-based platform that businesses with physical operations can use to gather and analyze IoT data – that is, information from things such as connected sensors, cameras, robots and machines.

The company says its mission is to increase the safety, efficiency and sustainability of operations that power the economy.

Co-founders Biswas, who is chief executive officer, and John Bicket, the chief technology officer, control more than 24% of the shareholder voting power after the IPO, the filings show.

They both had big success with their first startup, a Wi-Fi, routing and security firm called Meraki that was acquired by the networking giant Cisco Systems Inc. for $1.2 billion in 2012.

To date, Samsara boasts more than 20,000 customers, ranging from Fortune 500 enterprises to little-known startups, in areas such as manufacturing, transportation and logistics, field services, food production, energy and construction.

Coming into today’s IPO, Samsara had raised $939.4 million in venture capital funding from investors that included Andreessen Horowitz, Tiger Global Management, Dragoneer Investment Group, General Catalyst, General Atlantic, Warburg Pincus, AllianceBernstein and Raison Asset Management.

“Samsara’s founding team parlayed their sale of Meraki to Cisco into a rapid series of early-stage funding rounds by leading VC firms, particularly Andreessen Horowitz,” PitchBook senior emerging tech analyst Brendan Burke told SiliconANGLE.

However, Burke also noted some challenges for the company. “The company’s expansion plans to other segments of IoT have not been matched by revenue diversification, as the company reports in its S-1 that at least 87.7% of Q3 2021 annual recurring revenue derives from its Video-based Safety and Vehicle Telematics products,” he said.

“In this niche, the company faces headwinds from telematics integration by automakers, which is limited currently but we expect to reach 50% of new vehicles over the next three years. Samsara may need to prove that its software can expand outside of fleet management before the company is treated as a high-growth SaaS vendor by public markets.”

Samsara remains unprofitable but it is growing very fast. In February, it said it surpassed $300 million in run-rate subscription revenue during its fiscal 2020 fourth quarter, representing growth of 80%.

It was also listed as the second fastest-growing company on the Financial Times’ 2021 list of America’s fastest-growing companies, following the financial technology company Upgrade Inc. that ranked in first place. In addition, Samsara was ranked 15th on LinkedIn’s 2021 Top Startup List.