RealTime IT News

TurboLinux Smells IPO

Those that had TurboLinux on life support may take the company off now.

A source close to the company told InternetNews.com Wednesday it would be going public in the next few weeks, saying that the funding, which consists of many of its original financiers, was a "kind of top-off round."

The firm reeled in $30 million of third-round funding from the likes of Fujitsu Limited, Hitachi, Ltd., IBM, SGI and Softbank Ecommerce Corp. several months after it axed 70 employees and its skipper stepped down.

Specifically, proceeds from the third funding round will be used to help expand TurboLinux's worldwide services, sales, development and marketing programs.

On cruise control in 1999, IPO rates seem to be cooling, and, for some companies, have even proved elusive. Linuxcare postponed its initial public offering last April during a time when many Linux firms were taking beatings in the market -- the chill followed stellar IPOs from Red Hat, Cobalt Networks, Andover.Net and VA Linux Systems in the preceding months.

VA Linux jumped nearly 700 percent on its first day of trading in December 1999, breaking the record for the largest first-day gain of any initial public stock offering. Red Hat, the first Linux play to go public, saw shares triple in value on its first day on the market.

While many analysts then lumped Linux outfits together, most are now seeing the Linux faction in the lens of the individual. However, just as TurboLinux is turning around for the better, this does not necessarily mean rivals, such as Linuxcare, are following suit.

TurboLinux Wednesday also won a strong open-source Linux partner in IBM, which not only partook in the investment round, but accompanied the firm on tour for a national seminar series dubbed "Mission Possible" to showcase the latest enterprise solutions for Linux.

Linux experts from IBM and TurboLinux will speak at six cities nationwide during October and November to demonstrate enterprise solutions for channel partners and IT professionals.

"TurboLinux has made great progress this year in delivering breakthrough products for Linux Internet infrastructure solutions and we've announced a series of major technology partnerships and customer reference wins around the world," said T. Paul Thomas, president and CEO of TurboLinux, who took over for Cliff Miller in June.

TurboLinux scored a major round of funding in January when more than 20 firms, led by Dell Computer corp. sank $57 million into the firm.

The Linux society on the whole received a boost Wednesday when the Free Standards Group released the first version of the Linux Development Platform Specification (LDPS).

The LDPS is supported by 23 organizations, including leading Linux vendors like Red Hat Inc., TurboLinux, SuSE Linux AG and Caldera Systems, and hardware vendors like VA Linux Systems, IBM Corp and Sun Microsystems.