Sonos files for an IPO

Sonos files for $100M IPO as it seeks to stem losses in face of growing competition

For 2017, it reported revenue of almost US$1 billion, up 18 per cent from a year earlier.

Speaker maker Sonos is aiming to go public, filing an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in order to raise as much as $100M ... If all goes to plan with the IPO, it hopes to trade on the Nasdaq Global Select Market, under "SONO".

The company did not specify how many shares would be for sale, nor did it list an estimated offering price. The company set a placeholder amount of US$100 million to indicate the size of the IPO.

More recently, the home audio giants have started offering speakers with voice control. Sonos has produced two speakers with Amazon's digital assistant Alexa built in: the $199 Sonos One and the $399 Sonos Beam smart TV sound bar.

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

Sonos also relies heavily on Amazon as a retail channel.

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But Sonos also acknowledged in the SEC filing that it faces intensifying competition from Amazon, Apple and Google, along with Samsung, Bose, Bang & Olufsen and others.

"If Amazon does not maintain the Alexa integration, if Amazon seeks to charge us for this integration, if we have not developed alternative partnerships for similar voice-enabled products or if we have not developed such products on our own, our sales may decline, our reputation may be harmed and our business and operating results may suffer", according to the filing.

At the same time, Sonos said it plans to "deepen our relationships" with current partners, including Amazon, Google and Apple. Moreover, the company said consumers listen to approximately 80% more music after purchasing their first Sonos product.

Sonos' products are distributed in over 50 countries and 55 per cent of the total revenue in fiscal 2017 was from outside the United States. In the potential risks section of its IPO filing, Sonos notes that the USA 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%. That could impose a huge financial burden on Sonos if Inventec's operations are disrupted.

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

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