Multi-room pioneer Sonos has filed for an Initial Public Offering that would let people buy shares for the first time and raise the company around $100 million.
Until now, Sonos has been privately owned, but in 2017 the company lost $14.2 million despite a 10% rise in revenue, 9to5Mac notes. Presumably it hopes that going public and allowing people to buy shares will give it the cash injection it needs to turn a profit.
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Its filing makes for interesting reading, mostly because of how frank it is about the state of the smart speaker market. Sonos notes that it is completely reliant on other companies for its voice recognition technology, while also pointing out that these same companies produce hardware that Sonos speakers like the Sonos One directly compete with.
That puts the company in a precarious position, especially if Amazon or Google attempts to undermine its hardware competition by withholding promotional support or technology.
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A distinctly private company
Sonos has always been a unique company, and I’ve always felt that this has been allowed at least in part by the fact that it’s privately owned.
While other manufacturers release new hardware on an almost annual basis in an attempt to tempt people to upgrade their existing kit, Sonos has almost always been content to try and gets its hardware right the first time, before supporting it with software updates for years to come.
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Nowhere is this more clear than with the CR100 controller, which the company first released way back in 2005. Despite halting sales of the controller back in 2009, Spotify continued to offer support for it until earlier this year, almost nine years after it disappeared from store shelves.
But as third-party multi-room standards from Google and others continue to lower the barrier to entry for new players, Sonos has grown increasingly squeezed, and now it’s time for it to go public.
Do you think going public is likely to change Sonos as a company? Let us know @TrustedReviews