Special Episode - Digital Ocean - Dubious Prospects

Special Episode - Digital Ocean - Dubious Prospects

We have tons of research and unique insights on DOCN. However, we are too doubtful about its long-term prospects to call it a sure bet, or a long-term holding. At the same time, its fundamentals are not that bad to be a clear short candidate. Thus, so far we've decided not to publish a full written report on DOCN. Instead, we have recorded this special podcast episode to highlight our perspectives.

TL;DR: DOCN's ability to sustain a 30%+ CAGR for 3+ years, as guided by the management and widely priced-in by analysts, is highly questionable in our opinion. We see DOCN is in a weaker position, and most analysts have missed two points here:

  1. DOCN's inability to expand into the most lucrative enterprise segment,
  2. DOCN's easy growth in recent years achieved by raising ARPU is close to over. It has raised the ARPU from 50% discount vs. peers, to zero discount or even a slight premium.

These are big reasons why we don't think it is able to achieve very durable growth to be a multi-fold investment opportunity. The caveat, however, is that DOCN has demonstrated the recipe for winning in this highly commoditised, SMB-focused, cost-leadership market, which is extremely efficient for S&M and which has a CAC that is 1/3 to 1/5 of its close competitors.

We recommend investors treat DOCN more as a range bound opportunity, whereby the upside is capped while the bottom end is fairly secured too.

Press play to listen to the audio.

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