Smart-speaker company Sonos files to go public

  • Sonos, a speaker company, filed paperwork to go public Friday.
  • The initial-public-offering filing comes roughly three months after Spotify’s direct listing.

Sonos, a maker of smart speakers, filed regulatory paperwork on Friday for an initial public offering on the Nasdaq stock exchange under the ticker “SONO.”

The California-based audio company says it will use the proceeds from its IPO to invest in its marketing and development efforts. It gave no target for how much money it hopes to raise.

“We intend to use the net proceeds from this offering for working capital and other general corporate purposes, which may include sales and marketing activities, research, product development, general and administrative matters and capital expenditures,”Sonos said in its S-1 filing. “We may also use a portion of the net proceeds for the acquisition of, or investment in, complementary businesses, products, services, technologies or assets.”

For the fiscal year ending September 30, 2017, Sonos said it lost $US14.22 million – or $US0.50 per share – on revenue of $US992.53 million. That revenue of less than $US1.07 billion that qualifies it as an “emerging growth company.”

The company also warned that its revenue growth has been volatile, and is highly dependent on new device sales. Sonos speakers, which range from the $US199 Sonos One to a $US1,899 home theatre system, have to compete with major competition from the likes of Amazon, Google, and Apple.

Sonos’ filing comes roughly three months after the direct-listing of Spotify in April. While the streaming company is not directly a Sonos competitor yet, Spotify has filed dozens of patents in recent months for hardware devices as well as music discovery software.

In a recent CNBC interview, Patrick Spence, Sonos’ CEO, said he looked to Spotify’s business model and streaming at large, as the future of the music industry. And in a letter accompanying the filing, he said Sonos’ life as a public company is best suited for long-term investors.

“Short-term fluctuations and uneven product cadences are built into our business model,” he said. “This means we won’t be right for every investor. But if you share our desire to achieve long-term success, our commitment to being open, our dedication to doing the hard things and our excitement about the potential of the Sonic Internet, then we invite you to join us.”

This story is developing…

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