Wireless Speaker Maker Sonos Files for IPO

A wall of Sonos speakers signed by musicians at the company’s Seattle office

A wall of Sonos speakers signed by musicians at the company’s Seattle office

Net loss shrank to US$14.22 million from US$68.78 million in 2016.

The filing forces the wireless speaker company to bust open its books, offering investors and onlookers alike the opportunity to skim through its financials.

In yet another sign of how home audio systems and smart speakers have become the technology of the moment, speaker maker Sonos has filed to go public.

Sonos' hi-tech speakers and the company's tie-ups with around 100 music streaming providers including Apple Music, Pandora, Spotify and TuneIn have helped attract audiophiles around the world. It plans to list on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol SONO, according to a regulatory filing Friday.

As of March 31, 2018, or halfway through this fiscal year, the company had produced $655,670 in revenue, and a net income of $13.1 million, putting the company on track to generate more than $1 billion in revenue this year.

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In recent years, voice-activated speakers from Amazon and others had Sonos scrambling to catch up. That works out to around 2.75 units per household, confirmation that people who purchase the company's speaker are likely to continue to build out their array with additional devices. The company named Bang & Olufsen A/S, Bose Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co. among its main rivals, alongside newer entrants Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.'s Google.

Perhaps more worrying, Sonos relies on a few companies to sell its products. It set a placeholder amount of $100 million, but did not specify an offering price or size of the offering. Sonos doesn't offer its own music or voice-activation services. Vying for market share of the speaker and home audio industry is hard, to the say the least. One of its stated goals?

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

It's possible that Sonos is going public in order to raise the capital necessary for these projects and partnership negotiations.

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