2021 Backblaze IPO

(11/11/2021)


 

On Thursday, November 11, 2021 Backblaze had it's IPO (Initial Public Offering) and the first shares were traded on NASDAQ around 11am.  The trading symbol is BLZE.  Brian and Katherine travelled from Austin Texas to New York to watch it occur.  On this page is some information surrounding the IPO and some pictures.

Times Square NASDAQ Take Over:
For 10 minutes the day after the IPO we had a "Times Square NASDAQ Take Over".  The way this works is they display our logos on the largest billboards in Times Square all at once, and we take some photos.  It doesn't increase sales, or make the product better, or make anybody else hear about Backblaze other than the 4 tourists currently in Times Square, but it's fun.  :-)  It's an ego boost.  It looks like this:

 

Video of the Moment Backblaze became Publicly Traded:
Below is a video of the exact moment Backblaze became publicly traded on NASDAQ.  This was the eStaff watching (executive staff) in a hotel room in Westin Times Square.  Click here for the highest quality original.

 

Random picture of Backblaze employees in front of Nasdaq tower:

 

Links to Backblaze Historical Pictures:
- START: Backblaze Online Backup - What is ski-epic.com and what does it have to do with Backblaze Online Backup
- 2007 Backblaze Office Warming Party
- 2008 Behind the Backblaze Photo Shoot before Launch
- 2008 Backblaze 1.0 Launch Party
- 2008 Backblaze Holiday Party
- 2009 Backblaze Macintosh Launch Party
- 2009 Backblaze VIP Party (These are the Series 1 Friends and Family Investors)
- 2009 Petabytes on a Budget Backblaze Storage Pod Party
- 2010 Backblaze Holiday Party
- 2013 America's Cup Backblaze Company Sailing Trip
- 2013 Backblaze Holiday Party
- 2014 Backblaze Pacifica Boat Docks Day
- 2014 Backblaze Holiday Party
- 2015 Backblaze Company Sailing Trip
- 2015 Backblaze Holiday Party
- 2016 Backblaze Visits Lagunitas Brewery
- 2016 Backblaze at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
- 2016 Backblaze Holiday Party
- 2017 Backblaze Office Ten Year Anniversary Party
- 2017 Backblaze - 10 Years of Press Articles
- 2018 Backblaze Family Fun Day at Spark Social
- 2018 Backblaze Boat Ride
- 2018 Backblaze Holiday Party
- 2019 Backblaze Family Fun Day at San Mateo Park
- 2019 Backblaze Summer Interns
- 2019 Backblaze Boat Ride
- 2019 Backblaze Holiday Party
- 2021 Backblaze IPO (this page)
 

List of Backblaze stock valuations over time:
$0.001/share - 1/10th of one penny per share (Time in effect: Jan 15, 2007 4/12/2010)
$0.95/share - Series 1 investment (Time in effect: Preferred shares on 4/8/2009)
$0.74/share - First "employee" offer letter valuation (Time in effect: 4/13/2010 - 7/31/2012)
$4.65/share - TMT investment Tranche 1 (Time in effect: Preferred shares on 7/29/2012)
$3.56/share - 409A evaluation (Time in effect: 7/31/2012 - 5/31/2013) - valuation: $26 million
$3.67/share - 409A evaluation (Time in effect: 5/31/2013 - 5/31/2014) - valuation: $29 million
$5.76/share - 409A evaluation (Time in effect: 6/1/2014 - 5/31/2015) - valuation: $48 million
$8.52/share - 409A evaluation (Time in effect: 6/1/2015 - 5/31/2016) - valuation: $73 million
$7.71/share - 409A evaluation (Time in effect: 6/1/2016 - 5/31/2017) - valuation: $70 million
$7.62/share - 409A evaluation (Time in effect: 6/1/2017 - 5/31/2018) - valuation: $71 million
$9.13/share - 409A evaluation (Time in effect: 6/1/2018 - 5/31/2019) - valuation: $87 million
$9.40/share - 409A evaluation (Time in effect: 6/1/2019 - 5/31/2020) - valuation: $90.4 million
$13.43/share - 409A evaluation (Time in effect: 6/1/2020 - 12/31/2020) - valuation: ~ $134 million
$19.82/share - 409A evaluation (Time in effect: 1/1/2021 - 3/31/2021) - valuation: ~ $198 million
$29.11/share - 409A evaluation (Time in effect: 4/1/2021 - 6/30/2021) - valuation: ~ $291 million
$36.21/share - 409A evaluation (Time in effect: 7/1/2021 - 11/10/2021) - valuation: ~$362 million
... might be missing one? ...
... split 3.6 to one on stock, so number below is reset ...
$16/share - 11/11/2021 - IPO offering price (multiplied by 3.6 stock split is $57.60/share on above scale) valuation: ~ $633 million
$20/share - 11/11/2021 - price at end of first trading day (multiplied by 3.6 stock split is $72.00/share on above scale) valuation: ~ $800 million

Chart of the above information from "Carta" tool, plus some annotations in red:

 

Below are pictures taken in New York on IPO day

Katherine and I checked into our hotel room in the The Westin New York at Times Square, seen below:

 

Below is a panorama from the left window looking out over the Hudson River.

 

And below is a panorama looking out the right window.

 

A random still photo out the right window.

 

One last out the window picture.

 

The next morning, it is November 11, 2021 at 8:15am and the Backblaze stock is scheduled to become publicly traded (an IPO - Initial Public Offering) 3 hours later. Here we are at 8:15am going to a photo shoot in Times Square.  The idea is that the NASDAQ tower shows our logo, and we take photos in front of it.  Below we are all walking to Times Square.

 

Backblaze employees walking to Times Square.

 

A photo from somebody else, shows me (Brian) in blue shirt in the back of the crowd.

 

Derman Uzunoglu and Cheryl Crawford walking towards Times Square.

 

Larry Wilke (who heads up our datacenter team) in white jacket up front, and Adam Nelson, Sona Patel, and Ken Manjang walking behind Larry's right, and Sean Harris walking behind Larry's left shoulder.

 

Clay Cahoon (Backblaze's "Creative Director") attempts to herd the cats into a photo. The billboard behind us (what Clay is facing) will light up with our logo in a couple more minutes at exactly 8:35am.

 

Below is a movie of Clay Cahoon trying to organize a bunch of Backblaze employees for a photo shoot.  Click here for the highest quality original movie.

 

In the picture below Clay sees my camera and looks unhappy.  Ha!

 

Between shots, we're all hanging out.  Billy Ng (one of the founders) is wearing the Backblaze white face mask with red logo, with the red square in his suit pocket.

 

In front of the Nasdaq tower that will display our logo.  NASDAQ stands for "National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations" and what that means is there is no "trading floor", it is all computers based in datacenters in various parts of the world.

 

From left to right you can see Jeannine Smith, Ariel Ellis, JC Sales peeking over Adam Nelson's right shoulder, Anthony Alexander in wild black hair, Billy McCarthy, Troy to the left of Anthony and behind Billy, and Ken Manjang has 10% of his face cut off the right of the photo.

 

Natalie Cook, Billy McCarthy, Troy looking either tired or suspicious of me (ha!) with Ken, I think John Leacox behind the mask, and Doug Fults smiling on the far right.

 

"Blaze It" is kind of random.  Somebody else suggested "Backblaze and Chill".

 

Backblaze General Counsel Tom MacMitchell in the foreground below, with Backblaze's logo lighting up the NASDAQ tower in New York's Times Square.

 

We moved a little after the NASDAQ tower stopped showing our logo.

 

Another photo shoot 20 yards away.

 

This is professional photographer Anthony Moore.  I'm looking forward to seeing the pictures he took.

 

After the photo shoot, we're hanging out just chatting.  Many of us don't see the others very often because of our office being closed for 18 months at this point.

 

Damon Uyeda looking sharp in his suit.

 

Employees talking and laughing.

 

A photo taken by somebody else:

 

From left to right: John Leacox, Anthony Alexander with the big hair, Patty Carranza, Doug Fults, Tina Cessna, and Damon Uyeda (Damon is a demi-founder, he is mentioned in the Backblaze S-1 and worked for no salary at the beginning).

 

Clay Cahoon holding a sign.

 

From left to right: Tina Cessna (VP of Backblaze engineering), Natalie Cook (head of Human Resources), and Caitlin Bryson (marketing).

 

Nick Tran (VP of marketing) and Clah Cahoon.

 

A few hours later, the eStaff (Executive Staff) and some early investors gather to watch the first public trade of BLZE stock.

 

The process is kind of interesting.  A few of the big pre-IPO shareholders from "The Book" trade amongst each other, and when the trading volume hits a certain level it is "released" into the public market.

 

The founders Tim Nufire and Gleb Budman on the left watching for the first public trade.

 

Founder Brian Wilson (me) soon after first trade (thus the glass of champagne) - picture taken by somebody else.

 

Picture below is of the eStaff and early investors.  Vlad on the far right invested in Backblaze as part of "Friends and Family" series 1.

 

Below is a video of the exact moment Backblaze became publicly traded on NASDAQ.  This was the eStaff watching (executive staff) in a hotel room in Westin Times Square.  Click here for the highest quality original.

 

A few hours later we have a coast to coast video link up between Backblaze's San Mateo office and the New York hotel and have a reception.  Below Tom MacMitchel (Backblaze General Counsel) swabs his own nose taking a Covid test.

 

At the reception.  That's Backblaze independent board member Jocelyn Carter-Miller on the far left, Backblaze CFO Frank Patchel sitting next to her, Vanna Ngo behind Frank with her arms in the air, Amanda Le Arellano in far back, and Victoria Yu to Vanna's left (to Vanna's right in the photo).

 

At the reception.

 

At the reception.

 

James Fleishman in light grey jacket.

 

Cecilia Luu and Terry Lobianco at the reception.

 

Caitlin Bryson says some words.

 

At the reception. That's Backblaze Chief Security Officer Mark Potter on the far right.

 

At the reception.  From left to right: Derman in the foreground, Sean Harris sitting next to him, JC Sales, Nicole Perry, Adam Nelson, and Kristen Nelson, with Jocelyn half cut off the right of the photo.

 

At the reception.  On the far left is Ulrich Gall and his wife Elisabeth de Kleer.  On the far right is Ken Manjang and Derman Uzunoglu.

 

At the reception.

 

Emily Miller and Zack Miller at the reception on the left of the table, with KC2 (Casey Christensen) and Anthony Alexander half cut off the right of the photo.

 

Natasha Rabinov and Series 1 (friends and family) investor Ty Bash.

 

New York Delegation having fun after an exciting day of Backblaze's IPO.

 

Below Katherine Chung talks with Vanna, Cecilia, and Amanda for the first time face to face in about 2 years.

 

Vanna, Cecilia, and Amanda.

 

Later that night 4 of us went out alone to have dinner: Pavni Diwanji, Vlad Bolshakov, Katherine Chung, and me (Brian Wilson).  It is interesting to note the four of us worked at the same startup (named "Kendara") in 1999.

 

Vlad and Katherine.

 

The restaurant (I need a name of this??) had a fascination with sparklers as seen below.  They must buy them by the crate.

 

Desert came with sparklers.

 

They would carry these through the restaurant like this spraying sparks.  It's definitely festive.

 

The picture below was by some other employee at Backblaze, I didn't go see it, but a group of Backblaze went up to "The Edge" observation platform.

 

The next morning on Friday the original 7 founders of Backblaze had brunch together.

 

Casey Jones got us all engraved watches.

 

Later that day (the DAY AFTER the IPO) we had a "Times Square NASDAQ Take Over".  Here is how it works: we display various graphics on many of the largest billboards in Times Square, for 10 minutes.  This doesn't increase sales of our products, but it's a fun ego boost.  :-)  Below is the first picture in a series of these showing several of the billboards in a panorama.  Make your window wide to see the whole thing.

 

The curved structure displaying the picture of the Backblaze employees below is the "NASDAQ MarketPlace" sometimes called "The NASDAQ Tower".

 

Another picture of the Nasdaq Tower with Backblaze employees being displayed.

 

Another photo, same thing.

 

The Backblaze founders on the tower:

 

Gleb Budman (CEO of Backblaze) looking a bit too larger than life.

 

The graphics cycled through various graphics we had supplied to Nasdaq.

 

Pictures of the Times Square Takeover:

 

Nasdaq doesn't own all these other billboards, but they buy time and space and can control them remotely so it is all coordinated.

 

These are all electronic displays, which is pretty impressive.

 

This here is yet another picture:

 

Make your window wide to see this picture which is a panorama:

 

This is a billboard in Times Square:

 

This is also a billboard in Times Square:

 

This is below that other billboard:

 

Here the photographers are placing us in position to take promotional photos.

 

Here all of us are supposed to look up at the big billboard displaying our logo and act impressed.  :-)

 

Here we are acting impressed at our logo on the big wall.

 

The photographer tells Gleb to wave at the camera:

 

Photography session:

 

 

All done!

Return to Random Stufff

Return to Ski-Epic home page.