Deals

Online radio Pandora claims valuation of $1.3B

Online radio station Pandora has priced its shares between $7 and $9 in its upcoming initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) — giving the cloud music company a valuation of nearly $1.3 billion, according to an updated S-1 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

It’s nowhere near the titanic valuation of the NYSE’s recent IPO darling LinkedIn, which soared to a valuation of nearly $9 billion in its first day of trading before later settling at a valuation of roughly $7.5 billion based on its market cap. But Pandora will be another high-profile tech IPO on the NYSE and will join Groupon — which just filed to go public today — as part of the first wave of Web 2.0 companies hitting the public trading market.

Pandora runs an online service that lets its users pick genres, songs and musical groups and then builds a radio station that caters to that style of music. Users can access the service through a website or a desktop application. Pandora also has applications for the iPhone, Google’s Android mobile operating system and other mobile devices.

The company now has about 94 million registered users and 800,000 songs in its online music library, according to its most recent filing. That’s up from 53 million users in the first quarter last year and 82 million registered users at the end of its 2011 fiscal year. Of those registered users, 34 million are considered active users as of the end of April — up from 18 million at the same time last year and 29 million at the end of its 2011 fiscal year.

The company’s new filing also featured some updated financial information, including its most recent quarterly performance. Pandora brought in $51 million in the first quarter this year ending April 30, more than double its revenue of $21.6 million in the first quarter last year. The company still lost $6.8 million in the first quarter this year, up from around $3 million in the same quarter last year. Pandora brought in $137.8 million in its 2011 fiscal year and lost $1.8 million during the same period.

Advertising has accounted for more than 90 percent of the online radio’s revenue for most of the site’s life, according to the filing. But revenue from Pandora’s subscriptions, which let users skip over advertisements while listening to music, has been growing steadily. Subscription revenue now accounts for around 15 percent of the site’s total revenue as of the end of April, according to the company’s most recent filing.

The company filed to go public with the ticker “P” in February. Like LinkedIn, Pandora’s valuation is another of the first actual records of some of the hyper-valuations some Web 2.0 companies have garnered in recent years before heading to a public stock exchange. Companies like Facebook and Zynga — and Pandora — have seen ballooning valuations as investors have rushed to snatch up as many shares as possible ahead of what could be some of the most high-profile tech IPOs to date. Facebook, for example, was valued at $50 billion after its most recent round of funding, although it is trading at a higher price than that on secondary markets.

blog comments powered by Disqus