ChannelAdvisor files plans for IPO

dbracken@newsobserver.comApril 11, 2013 

ChannelAdvisor, the Morrisville company that designs software that allows retailers to sell and market goods online, has filed plans to raise as much as $86.25 million in an initial public offering.

The company reported in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Thursday that it plans to use some of the proceeds to expand its sales and marketing efforts, particularly its international presence.

ChannelAdvisor’s revenues have been growing at an annual rate of 21 percent since 2010 and totaled nearly $53.6 million last year.

The majority of ChannelAdvisor’s revenue comes from subscription fees paid by customers that use its software platform. The company’s suite of software connects customers to third-party marketplaces such as eBay, comparison shopping websites such as Nextag, and allows customers to advertise products on search engines such as Google and Yahoo.

ChannelAdvisor had more than 1,900 customers worldwide at the end of the year, including 27 percent of the top 500 U.S. Internet retailers.

Despite its revenue growth, the company has reported a net loss in each of the last three years, including a loss of $4.9 million last year.

In its filing, ChannelAdvisor notes under “risk factors” that it foresees that its operating expenses will increase substantially as it invests in sales and marketing, and research and development efforts.

“To achieve profitability we will need to either increase our revenue sufficiently to offset these higher expenses or significantly reduce our expense levels,” the company wrote. “Our recent revenue growth may not be sustainable, and if we are forced to reduce our expenses, our growth strategy could be compromised.”

ChannelAdvisor also notes that a significant portion of its revenue is derived from marketplaces operated by eBay and Amazon, and through advertisements on Google.

ChannelAdvisor had 405 employees as of the end of last year. In addition to its Morrisville headquarters, the company has offices in England, Ireland, Germany, Australia and Hong Kong.

ChannelAdvisor was founded in 2001 by CEO Scot Wingo and Chief Technology Officer Aris Buinevicius. The two had previously co-founded Wingo declined to comment on the company’s filing Thursday.

ChannelAdvisor’s three largest shareholders are venture capital firms. Kodiak Venture Partners owns 24.4 percent of the company; New Enterprise Associates 24 percent; and Advance Technology Ventures 18.5 percent.

Wingo owns 10 percent of the company, while Buinevicius owns 8.6 percent.

ChannelAdvisor is the third Triangle company to unveil plans to go public since the first of the year. The company has signed the blue-chip investment bank Goldman Sachs to be its lead underwriter.

ChannelAdvisor’s SEC filing doesn’t disclose how big an ownership stake the company intends to sell. If ChannelAdvisor succeeds in going public, it expects to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ECOM.

Bracken: 919-829-4548

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