Violin Memory CEO on rough IPO: ‘We’re playing a long-term game’

Violin Memory has had a rough opening day as a public company — seeing its stock (listed as VMEM on the New York Stock Exchange) closed the day 22 percent down from its $9 per share opening price — but CEO Don Basile (pictured above in the center) says he’s confident the company will prove its value in the long run.

Asked about the poor performance of the company’s stock during a phone call on Friday, he shrugged off any concern that it’s indicative of the company’s prospects. “It’s all about the psychology of the market [on any given day],” Basile said. “… We’re playing a long-term game.”

He touted the company’s continuous revenue growth, as well as the fact that the company isn’t locked into a particular customer (or handful of customers) or industry for too big a chunk of its revenue. Basile did note the immense value of its now defunct reseller deal with HP — it helped the company boost revenue by 500 percent in the first year — but added that it has been seven quarters since that deal accounted for a significant portion of Violin’s income.

And if Basile is right in his assessment of the flash storage market, other smaller vendors that have floated the idea of an IPO (such as Pure Storage and Nimble Storage) should be rooting for Violin to continue growing. There’s increased competition from large storage vendors such as EMC and, now, Cisco, and Basile thinks any success Violin has against the incumbents will prove the small guys can compete and boost excitement around future flash-storage IPOs.

Regardless of what happens going forward, though, Basile is spinning the IPO itself as a triumph. “We’re excited to be public,” he said, noting the small percentage of companies that ever reach this point and the relatively short 3.5 years between Violin’s first funding and its public offering.