Sonos files for an IPO

08 July, 2018, 17:10 | Author: Brooke Harris
  • Sonos files for $100M IPO as it seeks to stem losses in face of growing competition

The company set a placeholder amount of US$100 million to indicate the size of the IPO.

Sonos, a pioneer in the market for internet-connected speakers, is targeting a valuation of $2.5 billion to $3 billion in the IPO, said people familiar with the matter in April, who asked not to be identified because the plans are private.

Sonos will trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol SONO.

Its newest product, the Sonos Beam soundbar, will cost $399 when it goes on sale later this month.

For 2017, it reported revenue of almost US$1-billion, up 10 per cent from a year earlier. "As such, it is possible that Amazon, which sells products that compete with ours, may on limited notice disable the integration, which would cause our Sonos One or Sonos Beam products to lose their voice-enabled functionality". In the potential risks section of its IPO filing, Sonos notes that the U.S. big-box retailer Best Buy accounted for 17% of its revenue for the first half of this year, and the ALSO Group-its distributor in Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Norway-accounted for 12%.

Founded in 2002, Sonos recently introduced voice-controlled speakers integrated with Amazon's Alexa technology, putting them in direct competition with Apple's HomePod speakers, which are powered by Siri.

Those 19m products are found in around 6.9m homes worldwide, Sonos says, and the immediate upshot is more music being played.

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As for the Google Assistant, Sonos says it's working on that and repeats the recent promise by execs that a 2018 launch is still intended.

In other words, in order to remain competitive in this market, Sonos may find itself investing in improving sound-quality, in varied retail partnerships, and in music streaming service, voice assistant and connected home integrator partnerships. It estimated that customers listened to 5 billion hours of audio content using Sonos products a year ago, a 33 percent increase from 2016.

Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Allen & Co are among the lead underwriters for the offering.

Its next largest holders are Index Ventures and Sonos co-founder and chief executive officer John MacFarlane, who each own about 13 per cent.

The company did not specify how many shares would be for sale, nor did it list an estimated offering price.

Sonos had raised $455 million from investors including KKR, Index Ventures and Redpoint Ventures.

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