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Web18 Registers For NASDAQ IPO; Expenses Mount, Losses Continue

Q309 Snapshot Web18 IPO

Well that was quick: we asked two days ago about when and where Web18 would go in for a listing, and late in the evening yesterday, we got our answer to “where” – NASDAQ. In a TV18 results filing with the Bombay Stock Exchange, the company announced that they had submitted, on a confidential basis to the USAs Securities and Exchange Commission, a draft registration statement for a proposed IPO of American Depositary Shares. When we had spoken to Surya Mantha, CEO of Web18 a couple of days ago, he had declined to comment on potential listing plans. Sources had told us that he was in the US earlier in the quarter, possibly for initiating the listing process.

The date for the IPO has not been finalized, and the company will look at it when market conditions permit. The number and dollar amount of ADS proposed to be offered and sold have also not yet been determined. This also explains the ESOPS that were handed out to senior employees recently, which we had reported earlier this week. 

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P.s.: Do tell us why or why not (no slanderous comments, though)

Q3 Results

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Another quarter of losses for Web18, as the operating expenses increased quarter on quarter, and at Rs. 349.31 million, were almost 41% higher than the same quarter in 2008, and almost the same as last quarter. Revenues remained flat year-on-year, and grew by around 15% quarter on quarter. 

Q309 Snapshot Web18 IPO

Unless Web18 does something about its increasing expenses, this looks like it will continue since advertising revenues are unlikely to double during Q4. Operating Expenses should have declined, given that they exited their brokerage business last quarter. The company hasn’t mentioned a breakup of their expenditure, and how much of it is Search Engine Marketing to acquire traffic for their big bet – In.com.  How much of their overall expenditure is being spent on In.com anyway? Quoting Comscore, Web18 claims that In.com is the second largest Indian portal. 

Q3: Financials 

– Web18 Hands Out ESOPS; When And Where Will They List?
– Q1-09 Results: Web18 Reports $1.8 Million Loss; Revenues At $3.1 Million
– Web18 Q2 Losses Triple To Rs. 24.2 Crores In A Quest For The No.1 Spot

Disclosure: I own a small number of shares of Network18

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Written By

Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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