Cloudera CEO: Going public is not an event, it’s a process

With $160 million in fresh funding, Cloudera is clearly in the spotlight for an IPO. But CEO Tom Reilly said that money, which brings Cloudera’s total funding to $300 million, gives the company the wherewithal to do what it needs either in or outside the public market.

Speaking at Structure Data on Thursday, Reilly said one of Cloudera’s new investors, T. Rowe Price, is the type of huge institutional investor that usually backs public companies. Google(s GOOG) Ventures and Dell also joined the round. The money means Cloudera can,  and will, take its time going public.

“Going public is not an event — it’s a long process and we still have a lot of work to do. Our CFO is still closing his books on Quickbooks,” Reilly said. (I think it was tongue in cheek.)

“We want to be predictable and very efficient. This financing gives us the flexibility so we don’t have to go public to get financing.”

Cloudera competes with Hortonworks in the enterprise Hadoop space, but it will increasingly butt heads with IBM and Pivotal, which are building full Hadoop-based stacks for enterprise use.

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Photo by Jakub Mosur