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File-sharing company Accellion aims to go public in 2015

By Sruthi Ramakrishnan

(Reuters) - Strong demand for a product designed to prevent NSA-style snooping could speed online file-sharing services provider Accellion Inc's plans to go public, CEO Yorgen Edholm said.

Accellion, whose 2,000 clients include household products maker Procter & Gamble, advertising company Ogilvy & Mather and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, plans an IPO in 2015, Edholm said in an interview.

The new product, kiteworks, helps companies store and share large amounts of data easily and securely with the added benefit of a three-tier design that makes it difficult to break into, he said.

Kiteworks, launched last week, has already won sales representing 10-15 percent of the sales that the company typically makes in six months, Edholm said.

Corporate concerns about snooping by the U.S. National Security Agency intensified last year after NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked documents describing how the government collects far more internet and phone data than previously known.

Founded in 1999, Palo Alto, California-based Accellion has annual revenue "closer to $50 million" than $100 million, and is growing by 50 percent or more a year, he said.

Online file sharing is growing rapidly as more companies store data online as a way to eliminate the cost of buying and maintaining their own data centers.

The market is expected to grow to 8,667 petabytes per month by 2017 from 6,201 in 2012, according to a Cisco report last year. (http://link.reuters.com/xaz56v)

One petabyte can store more than 58,000 HD movies.

"We think we are benefiting from a perfect storm ... maybe not a perfect storm but a perfect strong wind in your back," said Edholm, a concert violinist who has performed at New York's Carnegie Hall.

Major file sharing company Dropbox Inc secured $250 million from BlackRock Inc and other investors last month in a new funding round that valued the company at almost $10 billion, while rival Box is expected to go public this year.

Online file-sharing service provider Egnyte, whose products also include a program that helps companies prevent snooping, has also said it was considering an IPO in 2015.

Edholm said Accellion, whose investors include Baring Private Equity Partners Asia and Riverwood Capital, has been considering going public for some time, and would go ahead with its plan irrespective of how Box's and Dropbox's IPOs fared.

"We are going public anyway because it's the right thing to do. We don't need the other guys but I think that the other guys are going to help us," he said.

Edholm declined to comment on valuations but said Accellion could benefit if other IPOs were successful.

Edholm said Accellion had received several buyout offers but was determined to stick to its IPO plan.

"I wouldn't be surprised as we get closer to next year there would be more exuberant offerings ...", he said.

(Editing by Ted Kerr)

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