The parade of initial public offerings continues, with online music streaming provider Pandora and just-in-time merchandising provider CafePress joining the string of companies that have taken similar steps in the past month, ranging from LinkedIn to Zynga to Groupon.
Back to the 90s Again?
In a move reminiscent of the heady days of the 1990s, a whole string of companies have either already gone IPO or filed their intention to do so.
- LinkedIn, which led the pack with its IPO in May, raised the planned price twice and went up as high as US$ 115, though now it's down to the US$ 70s
- Groupon is filing for US$ 750 million
- Zynga has not yet filed an IPO but has declared its intention to do so
Articles about the various IPOs often display an odd kind of post-traumatic stress disorder, with some of the articles muttering darkly about "Is this the beginning of another bubble?" and others reassuring us that no, no, this time it'll be different.
Ever had an idea and thought, wow, that would be great on a T-shirt, or a mug, or a mouse pad, but you had no clue how to go about it? CafePress is your place.As the company describes itself:
At CafePress we print each item as it's ordered, and products usually ship within 24 hours. CafePress also allows you to set up online shops for free where you can design & sell your own creatively designed merchandise."
According to MarketWatch, the company was profitable in 2006 and 2007, had a loss in 2008, and made money again in 2009 and 2010, and is running at a loss thus far this year. In 2010, Cafepress had 2 million customers and 2.7 million orders, with the average order size around US$ 47, with a total of 325 million unique products offered for sale, the Washington Post said.
CafePress was founded in 1999 and no doubt expects a booming business in the upcoming Presidential campaign season. On the pessimistic side, it's noted that it’s older, it isn’t social in the way that LinkedIn is, and it's already passed the rapid-growth phase seen by some Web startups.
The company did not say what exchange it was planning to use, nor a symbol or price, but it expects to raise up to US$ 80 million.
Pandora is a music-streaming service that figures out what sort of music you like based on a few "seed" songs or artists you give it.
Just drop the name of one of your favorite songs, artists or genres into Pandora and let the Music Genome Project go. It will quickly scan its entire world of analyzed music, almost a century of popular recordings -- new and old, well known and completely obscure -- to find songs with interesting musical similarities to your choice. Then sit back and enjoy as it creates a listening experience full of current and soon-to-be favorite songs for you."
The company recently upped its price per share to US$ 10-$12 per share, up from US$ 7-$9 per share. The stock will trade on the New York Stock Exchange and will trade under the ticker symbol "P," according to the investment site Benzinga. It is expected to raise up to US$ 176 million, giving the company a valuation of up to US$ 1.9 billion.
Pandora's revenue climbed from US$ 55.1 million in fiscal 2010 to US$ 137.7 million in fiscal 2011, while the company's net loss narrowed from US$ 16.8 million to US$ 1.8 million over the same period, noted TheStreet, adding that the company may see its first profitable quarter this year. The service had 90 million users in April and was adding a new registered user every second.
When exactly either company might have its IPO is not yet known.