Wireless speaker maker Sonos files for IPO

(Reuters) - Sonos Inc, a maker of hi-tech wireless speakers, filed for an initial public offering on Friday, riding on the back of increasing popularity of streaming music through smartphone apps on connected audio systems.

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.

The company did not give details about the size of its offering, but warned that rising trade tensions between China and the United States could hurt its business.

“If further tariffs are imposed on a broader range of imports ... we may be required to raise our prices, which may result in the loss of customers and harm our reputation and operating performance,” the company said in the filing.

Sonos’ speakers and the company’s tie-ups with around 100 music streaming providers including Apple Music, Pandora, Spotify and TuneIn have attracted audiophiles around the world.

Founded in 2002, Sonos recently introduced voice-controlled speakers integrated with Amazon’s Alexa technology, putting them in direct competition with Apple’s HomePod speakers, which are powered by Siri.

A rapid growth in streaming music services in recent years has led to a recovery in the fortunes of the global recorded music industry and boosted demand for internet-connected speakers.

Sonos’ products are distributed in over 50 countries and 55 percent of the total revenue in fiscal 2017 was from outside the United States.

The company set a placeholder amount of $100 million to indicate the size of the IPO. It is targeting a valuation of about $2.5 billion to $3 billion according to some reports.

The amount of money a company says it plans to raise in its first IPO filings is used to calculate registration fees. The final size of the IPO could be different.

For 2017, it reported revenue of nearly $1 billion, up 10 percent from a year earlier. Net loss shrank to $14.22 million from $38.21 million in 2016.

The Santa Barbara, California-based company said it intends to list on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “SONO.”

Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Allen & Co are among the lead underwriters for the offering.

To view a graphic on Sonos Inc files for IPO png, click:

Reporting by Nikhil Subba in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty