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Seven Plots $115M IPO

Light Reading
LR Mobile News Analysis
Light Reading
3/22/2004

ATLANTA -- CTIA Show -- Wireless email startup Seven Networks Inc. is the latest company to try and ride the small -- but growing -- mobile IPO wave. It filed today for a public offering that could raise up to $115 million.

There's little in way of further information -- like the timing of the IPO -- available yet. The company is expected to make further filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

A succcessful flotation would make Seven the comeback kid of the wireless industry. Back in September 2002 the firm was forced to slash its staff by nearly one third and focus on its existing accounts, leading many to wonder if it would survive the wireless downturn (see Seven Slashes Staff: UPDATED).

A well-received IPO would also be a vindication for Bill Nguyen, chairman and founder of the company. Seven is the second major startup Nguyen has created [ed. note: despite the fact that he doesn't look a day over 12]. The first was Onebox.com, which he sold to Openwave Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: OPWV) at the height of the bubble.

However, it's not all sunshine and roses for Seven, as the scant details in the firm's preliminary S-1 filing show. The firm made total revenues of $6.9 million for 2003 but reported a net loss of $12.6 million. This was an improvement on figures for the previous couple of years.

Some of the loss may be down to the fact that the company is being sued for alleged patent infringement by rival Visto Corp. Seven says it intends to fight the case, which could go to trial in April 2005, according to the filing.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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