initial public offerings (IPOs) trading on American exchanges

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Carbonite files for a $106 million IPO

Carbonite Inc. of Boston, a leading provider of online data backup services, hopes to raise as much as $106 million in an initial public stock offering later this year.

In a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Carbonite said it plans to sell 6.25 million shares for $15 to $17 per share. Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch investment unit and JPMorgan Chase & Co. will act as the lead underwriters of the offering.

Carbonite first announced its plan to go public in May. The company, founded in 2005, lets consumers and small businesses back up their computer files by transmitting them over the Internet to a remote data center. Home computer users pay a flat fee of $59 per year for unlimited storage, although Carbonite downloads data from heavy users at a much slower rate, making the service less efficient for large data backups.

David Menlow, president of in Millburn, N.J., an independent research firm for the IPO market, said that there has been a resurgence in the market for IPOs, with 91 initial offerings in the United States so far this year, compared with 77 during the same period last year.

Carbonite says it has 1.1 million subscribers in 100 countries, and foresees booming demand for its backup service. “We believe that a decade from now, nearly every device that creates or stores data, including desktop and laptop computers, tablets, smartphones, and digital cameras, will be backed up over the Internet,’’ the company said in its SEC filing.

But Carbonite faces competition from huge rivals, including EMC Corp. of Hopkinton, which operates the Mozy online backup service. Besides, Carbonite has yet to turn a profit. The company lost $25.8 million last year and $10 million in the first six months of 2011.

The company provides online backups for 1.1 million total customers including consumers and small to medium sized businesses. The company generated revenue of $38.6 million and a net loss of $25.8 million in 2010. In the first half of 2011 the company posted revenue of $27.2 million and a net loss of $10.0 million.

Carbonite charges consumers $59 for one year of service and has a separate plan for businesses.

Competitors include Prosoftnet, CHashPlan and VMWare’s Mozy, Symantec’s Norton, McAfee, SOS Online and others in related sectors such as DropBox. Proposed ticker: Nasdaq: CARB. Current investors with 5% or more of stock include Menlo Ventures, Performance Direct Investments, Crosslink Capital and First Plaza Group Trust.

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