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I point your attention this morning to the hottest IPO news of the day.
No, I don’t mean Uber, that jumbled-up psych-out of a situation where market savants say it’s a good thing Uber will seek only a $100 billion valuation (prudent), which is really bad news for Lyft (too aggressive in its own pricing), now trading (at $60 per share) 32% below the top tick some sad sack paid on Lyft’s nine-working-days-ago IPO day.
I’m referring instead to the non-household name PagerDuty, a company that provides online tools for software developers. PagerDuty is the kind of boring guts-of-the-system technology company true bits-and-bytes investors love. It is growing quickly. Sales of $118 million for its last fiscal year were up nearly 50%. Of course, it’s not making money because it is plowing its money into growth. CEO Jennifer Tejada, who is also member of the board at The Estée Lauder Companies, spoke at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Next Gen conference in December, offering advice on career advancement. She would know.
Investors clearly are enthusiastic about Tejada’s company. At its above-expected IPO price of $24, the company is worth about $1.8 billion. A multiple of 15 times revenue is stratospheric, but a not-unreasonable blend of its competitors’ valuations. Splunk (SPLK) is worth about 11 times its sales; Atlassian (TEAM) 26 times.
As for what PagerDuty does, it describes itself as acting “as the central nervous system for the digital enterprise.” It crunches all the signals fed into a modern digital operation and prioritizes, analyzes, and directs traffic on where those signals should go next. It’s one of the first companies I’ve ever seen brag in its own securities filing that it is a tonic for the “digital transformation” needs that ail legacy enterprises.
It’s the kind of stuff that will never quicken the heartbeat of the average investor. But PagerDuty’s growth rate just might.