Wireless Speaker Maker Sonos Files for IPO

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

Sonos has a range of speakers that come with Amazon's popular voice assistant, Alexa, built-in, including the Sonos One smart speaker and the Sonos Beam soundbar.

Backed by KKR Stream Holdings LLC, Sonos has grown to become a big player in the competitive home audio market, battling established players such as Bang & Olufsen, Bose and Sony as well as iPhone maker Apple. 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.

Sonos said in the SEC filing that more than 19 million of its products are sitting in roughly 6.9 million households around the world. 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.

It also points to the opportunity presented by growing interest in voice assistants - Sonos released its first voice-enabled speaker, the Sonos One, last year, but rather than building its own assistant, it integrates with Amazon Alexa and has plans to add support for Apple's Siri (via Airplay 2) and Google Home this year. The company set a placeholder amount of US$100 million to indicate the size of the IPO. The company will be listed on Nasdaq with the ticker symbol "SONO".

Sonos acknowledged the risks in its IPO prospectus: "To the extent products offered by our partners compete with our products, they may choose to promote their own products over ours, or could end our partnerships and cease selling or promoting our products entirely", the company said.

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In the filing, the company says it's aiming to raise up to $100 million in the IPO.

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.

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

The filing gives us our best look at Sonos sales so far.

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