Published: Sun, July 08, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Sonos files for IPO with plans to raise $100 million

Sonos files for IPO with plans to raise $100 million

Sonos speakers are compatible with Amazon's popular Alexa voice assistant, which lets owners control smart-home devices and play their favorite music services.

The company did not specify how many shares would be for sale, nor did it list an estimated offering price. In fiscal 2017, the company posted a net loss of $14.2 million on revenue of $992.5 million, down from a net loss of $38.2 million on $901.3 million of revenue in the previous financial year, according to the filing. The company set a placeholder amount of US$100 million to indicate the size of the IPO.

In recent years, voice-activated speakers from Amazon and others had Sonos scrambling to catch up.

"Our system is not - and never will be - an entry gate into a walled garden", writes CEO Patrick Spence.

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

Sonos has a frenemy-style relationship with Amazon, Google and Apple.

The company named Bang & Olufsen A/S, Bose Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co. among its main rivals, alongside newer entrants Inc., Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.'s Google.

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At the same time, Sonos said it plans to "deepen our relationships" with current partners, including Amazon, Google and Apple. The company has sold approximately 19 million products that are used in 6.9 million households worldwide. It estimated that customers listened to 5 billion hours of audio content using Sonos products past year, a 33 percent increase from 2016.

Sonos is diversifying its voice offerings, promising integration with Google Assistant and Apple's Siri this year.

According to Sonos, customers listen to an average of 70 hours of audio content per month.

Santa Barbara, Calif. -based Sonos had 1,478 full-time employees as of March 31, including 549 in R&D, 636 in sales and marketing and 293 in general and administrative roles.

In May, Sonos laid off 96 employees, which was viewed as preparation for an IPO. "We're deeply committed to keeping Sonos open to every voice assistant, streaming service and company that wants to build on our platform". That could impose a huge financial burden on Sonos if Inventec's operations are disrupted.

Sonos's largest investor is KKR & Co., which owned an nearly 26 per cent stake as of June 30, according to the filing.

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