In filing for IPO, reveals a pattern of losses

Image Credit: Flickr: MissMessie is going public.

Today, in filing its S-1 form with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission — a crucial step on the road to an initial public offering (IPO) — the digital-coupons company unveiled a long-running string of quarterly losses. But the company also showed how it’s closer and closer to operating in the black. And that could bode well for the IPO.

The company aims to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol COUP. did not disclose an initial offering price per share.

The company brought in $39.7 million in revenue in the third quarter of 2013 and $151 million in a year ending on Sept. 30. But profitability is an issue.

“We have incurred net losses since inception and we may not be able to generate sufficient revenues to achieve or subsequently maintain profitability,” noted in its list of risks associated with the business.

But at least net losses appear to be dropping every quarter.

And the company has been spending a smaller and smaller share of its revenues on sales and marketing. Thirty-seven percent of revenues went to those causes in the third quarter of last year, compared with 65 percent in the first quarter of 2012.

The question is whether will play well with public-market investors, or at least better than Groupon.

Based in Mountain View, Calif., started in 1998.

The company announced a $30 million round in October 2011 a few months after raising $200 million. Investors include Greylock Partners.

The company’s valuation was at $1 billion as of October 2011. A couple of months later, common stock was worth $2.13 per share. As of Nov. 11, 2013, common stock shares were worth $3.46 each, according to the S-1 document.

More information:

Groupon (a portmanteau derived from "group coupon") is a deal-of-the-day website that features discounted gift certificates usable at local or national companies. Groupon was launched on November 2008, the first market for Groupon was ... read more »

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