The march of the 2014 initial public offerings commences, with the latest one of the oldest brands on the internet. Coupons .com has just filed S-1 papers with the SEC for an IPO on the NYSE, trading under the name COUP, and raising $100 million.
Goldman, Sachs & Co., Allen & Company LLC, BofA Merrill Lynch and RBC Capital Markets are listed as the underwriters on the filing.
The news comes a day after Box reportedly filed a “secret” IPO. Coupons.com may elect to use a similar route to keep from disclosing certain aspects of its business, it notes. “We are an ’emerging growth company’ as defined under the federal securities laws and, as such, may elect to comply with certain reduced public company reporting requirements for future filings,” it notes.
Coupons.com’s IPO filing was long anticipated, most recently with Paul Sloan jumping from his position as editor-in-chief at CNET to take up head of communications to lead the effort.
As one of the earlier movers in the online coupons space, Coupons.com is also one of the biggest. It notes in the IPO that in the first nine months of 2013, its sales were generated from some 940 million transactions on its site. Those included customers picking up digital coupons and also redeeming codes over its platform. That figure is up 49% over a year ago.
Coupons.com says that today its platform includes more than 700 consumer packaged goods companies, representing over 2,000 brands, and retailers covering some 58,000 physical stores in North America. It had 17 million monthly unique visitors on average across Coupons.com and affiliated sites over 2013 and visited the sites of its CPGs, retailers and publishers. Its mobile apps have been downloaded some 7 million times.
First established as a site for newspaper coupons, more recently the company has been trying to convert its brand recognition into a business fit for a more social and mobile age. In December Coupons.com acquired Yub for $30 million to add loyalty networks to its service and position itself as a better bridge between offline and online commerce. In March 2013, it acquired KitchMe, a Pinterest-like recipe service.
Founded in 1998, Coupons.com has raised some $277 million in venture funding but it is a loss-making business. During the nine months ended September 30, 2013, the company says, it generated revenues of $115.3 million, growing 51% compared to the same period in 2012 but at a net loss of $12.8 million. That net loss was a decrease of 75% over the same period in 2012, the company says.
The full-year figures for the year before show that Coupons.com is improving its structure. In 2012, sales were $112.1 million, 23% up versus 2011, but with a net loss of $59.2 million, up 158% (!) over 2011.
Sill, coupons are big business, potentially. Coupons.com says that in 2012, 305 billion total coupons were distributed, “representing an aggregate discount value of $467 billion, with 2.9 billion redeemed representing an aggregate discount value of $3.7 billion,” citing stats from NCH Marketing Services.