Sonos files to go public as it amps up its speaker game

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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.

Sonos said as of March 31, its customers had registered more than 19 million products in about 7 million households around the world.

The company is on track to surpass $1 billion in sales this fiscal year after booking revenue of $655.7 million for the six months ending in March, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday. Shares will be listed on the Nasdaq, under the ticker "SONO". It set a placeholder amount of $100 million, but did not specify an offering price or size of the offering. 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. In 2017, the company generated $992 million in revenue, a 10% increase from $901.3 million in 2016. Should Amazon see a threat from Sonos, the tech giant could disable Alexa on the Sonos One and Beam with little notice, leaving the speakers without voice capabilities, according to the filing.

Sonos offers a line of wireless, multi-room speaker systems, which allow users to control the speakers from anywhere in the house. This year, Sonos also plans to incorporate Apple's Siri, via Airplay 2, as well as Google Assistant.

Also of interest is Sonos' estimate that customers listen to roughly 70 hours of content per month.

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. Moreover, the company said consumers listen to approximately 80% more music after purchasing their first Sonos product.

In May, Sonos laid off 96 employees, which was viewed as preparation for an IPO.

Perhaps more worrying, Sonos relies on a few companies to sell its products.

In detailing risk factors, Sonos noted in the IPO filing that the company depends on a single manufacturer: Taiwan-based Inventec.

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