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Sonos files for IPO

By | Published on Monday 9 July 2018


As expected, wireless speaker maker Sonos filed for a US Initial Public Offering last week. Planning to list on the Nasdaq Global Select Market, the company is reportedly seeking a valuation of up to $3 billion.

It was reported in April that Sonos was planning to list this summer. The company does so as competition from tech giants Amazon, Google and Apple increases, as they all try to dominate the smart speaker market. The company also listed Bang & Olufsen, Bose and Samsung as significant rivals in its IPO documents.

Sonos has always sold itself on audio quality and continues to do so. Although it has also integrated Amazon’s Alexa voice control software into its latest speakers and will support Google Assistant and Apple’s AirPlay 2 in the near future.

The company reported losses of $14.2 million last year, reduced by more than 50% on the previous year. Prior to filing to go public, it cut around 6% of its workforce in a bid to reach profitability.

As well as all of those rival products from tech and consumer electronics giants, Sonos also warned potential investors that the looming trade war between the US and China is a threat to be aware of. The company has a base in China and all of its speakers are assembled there, before being shipped to its other bases in the US and Europe.

“If significant tariffs or other restrictions are placed on Chinese imports or any related counter-measures are taken by China, our revenue and results of operations may be materially harmed”, the company says in its filing. Current tariffs imposed on China by President Trump do not affect it, it says, but if others are imposed it may force Sonos to raise its prices, potentially resulting in a “loss of customers and harm [to] our reputation and operating performance”.