Twilio files for IPO, sets up to thaw tech freeze

San Francisco-based Twilio filed for an initial public offering on Thursday, breathing a bit of life into the all-but-dead Silicon Valley IPO market.

In a filing with the SEC, the cloud communications startup proposed raising up to $100 million from the offering. The company, which lists Airbnb and Uber among its customers, is not profitable, and said in the filing it is “uncertain” about future profitability. Twilio incurred $35.5 million in losses last year, according to the filing.

VentureBeat reported the filing Thursday.

Twilio joined the “unicorn” ranks in May of last year, when its valuation reached more than $1 billion with a $100 million funding round, Forbes reported.

Twilio is putting its cards on the table at a dicey time. There have been no tech IPOs out of Silicon Valley so far this year — though health care companies including Corvus Pharmaceuticals and Pulse Biosciences, both based in Burlingame, have make public debuts. Georgia-based SecureWorks, a cyber security company owned by Dell, raised $112 million in its IPO last month, making it the first non-health care company to go public this year.

Experts say volatile public markets have scared tech companies away. And market conditions aside, many private companies are content with raising venture capital money and growing their valuations, and see no reason to go public.

There has long been speculation that Twilio would seek an IPO in 2016. The company submitted a preliminary filing with the SEC confidentially last year, The Wall Street Journal reported. Such a confidential filing is permitted under the JOBS Act as a way for aspiring public companies to test the waters.

Photo: Screen shot of Twilio’s IPO filing. (


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