High-end speaker company Sonos is going public


NEW YORK-Sonos Inc. filed for a US initial public offering as the wireless speaker pioneer gears up to take on increasing competition from Amazon.com Inc., Google and Apple Inc. The company set a placeholder amount of US$100 million to indicate the size of the IPO.

Bloomberg reported that Sonos is seeking a valuation of $2.5 billion to $3 billion. For example, Sonos One and Sonos Beam feature voice-control enablement powered by Amazon's Alexa technology while Amazon now competes by offering speaker products of their own.

While the wireless speakers market is booming - Sonos says its customers listen to about 70 hours of content a month - competition has increased since the company introduced its first home-audio system in 2005. Should Amazon see a threat from Sonos, the tech giant could disable Alexa on the Sonos One and Beam with little notice, leaving the speakers without voice capabilities, according to the filing.

As part of its filing to go public, the audio hardware company Sonos on Friday said the success of some of its products depended on Amazon's playing nice.

Sonos, the smart home audio system for design/music lovers, just filed for IPO in an attempt to take on the greater connected consumer electronics industry.

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

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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.

Sonos' products are distributed in more than 50 countries and 55 per cent of the total revenue in fiscal 2017 was from outside the United States.

In preparation for its anticipated IPO, Sonos cut about 6 per cent of its workers to help boost profitability. Sonos recorded a net loss of $14.2 million in the most recent fiscal year ending in September 2017, down from $38.2 million in the prior year.

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

Sonos's largest investor is KKR & Co., which owned an nearly 26 per cent stake as of June 30, according to the filing. Sonos didn't provide an estimated initial offering price per share.

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