'Market conditions' blamed as MobiTV pulls back IPO bid

MobiTV has had second thoughts about an IPO it initiated last August and has now withdrawn it, according to a report in GigaOM. The company, which makes apps that let users watch TV on smart phones and has recently pushed into the TV Everywhere space, had hoped to raise up to $75 million from the IPO.

In a letter sent to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the company said "unfavorable market conditions" were to blame for the withdrawal but also said it "advises the Commission ... that it may undertake a subsequent private offering."

Market conditions, to be sure, have not been favorable for IPOs as evidenced by Facebook's notorious move into the public sector. Another company, cited by GigaOM, had better luck. ServiceNow saw its stock price rise 34 percent since its IPO last month. Still in limbo is how the market will treat an IPO from Kayak Software.

For the record, GigaOM noted that MobiTV has "never been profitable," having reported an $11.8 million loss last year on revenues that were up 27 percent to $85.1 million. The provider is also in hot-to-trot company by competing with Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) YouTube, Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) and the resurgent Aereo.

While MobiTV has been beholden to wireless carriers—in 2011 it pulled 97 percent of its revenue from Sprint (NYSE: S), T-Mobile, AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ)—it has been repositioning itself into a more wireline-centric TV Everywhere space with a pitch for IPTV and cable operators looking to spread their content beyond a straight residential play.

In March the company announced a collaboration with Amino to develop a next generation TV Everywhere offering that integrated its technology platform—including MobiTV TV Everywhere Media Player and DRM solution—into an Amino set-top box that would create "a secure, high-quality adaptive streaming experience while eliminating the need for managed networks."

The collaboration extended MobiTV's parameters at the same time it extended "the boundaries of the standard set-top box," said MobiTV CTO Kay Johansson in a March press release. "Our TV Everywhere solution, combined with Amino's award-winning technology, will provide customers a highly personalized experience on the television screen. Inside or outside the living room, our platform delivers a true multi-screen TV experience."

For more:
- see this story
- and this letter
- and this post

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