October 8, 2020
Despite racking up some fairly heavy losses in fiscal 2018 and 2019, and high dependency on a couple of customers, Mavenir Systems – which has put down a solid marker in the open RAN market - has filed a registration statement with US Securities and Exchange Commission to list on Nasdaq.
Daryl Schoolar, practice leader for fixed and mobile infrastructure at Omdia, thinks the move reflects a well-played portfolio hand by the US company.
"To me, the IPO shows Mavenir's bet on virtual network solutions, not just radio access networks, is starting to pay off," he said. "I also believe going public and creating more company transparency will help the company when it comes to doing business with more operators and increasing the scale of business it has with existing clients."
It encompasses both software and hardware – Vodafone flagged this week that Mavenir was one of its favored open RAN hardware suppliers – as well as packet core products and Rich Communications Services.
Skeletons in the cupboard?
As part of its IPO prep, Mavenir published details of recent financial performance.
On revenues of $427.4 million during 2019 (up 8.7% compared to the previous year) it racked up net losses of $81 million. This was an improvement on fiscal 2018, though, which saw net losses of $97.2 million.
More worryingly – net losses are perhaps inevitable when trying to gain market share from big, traditional suppliers - T-Mobile in the US accounted for as much as 30% of total revenue in fiscal 2019 (although that was down from 36% the previous financial year).
Japan's disruptive Rakuten Mobile, which is committed to "end-to-end" network virtualization, made up 17% of Mavenir's total revenue in fiscal 2019.
No other customer in 2018 or 2019, maintained Mavenir, accounted for more than 10% of revenue.
Riding the open RAN wave
Mavenir leaned heavily on projections from research firm Dell'Oro, which showed huge potential for open RAN growth.
The open RAN market, said Dell'Oro, is roughly worth $0.2 billion in 2020, but will grow to over $3 billion in 2024.
"OpenRAN is disrupting a large RAN market that is forecasted at $201 billion from 2019 to 2024, according to Dell'Oro," added Mavenir.
The number of shares to be offered by Mavenir, and the price range for the proposed offering, have not yet been determined.
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