SAN FRANCISCO – Look Smart Ltd., a category-based Internet directory provider, went public August 20, offering 7.7 million shares at $12 apiece. The company’s stock priced in the middle of its $11 to $13 filing range.
Underwritten by Goldman, Sachs & Co., BancBoston Robertson Stephens and Hambrecht & Quist, the initial public offering left 84.1 million shares outstanding.
Cox Interactive Media Inc., The Reader’s Digest Association Inc., Macquarie Bank Limited, Australian Mezzanine Investments Pty Ltd., and Entrepreneur America were venture investors. There were no selling shareholders.
The LookSmart directory provides its customers with more than 800,000 unique URLs in over 60,000 categories, which helps users find what they need through an organized collection of granular content arranged in simple navigation format.
The company will use the expected $85 million in proceeds generated in the IPO for general corporate purposes including working capital, marketing and promotional activities, new product development and to increase personnel. Look Smart also is considering using a portion of the proceeds to acquire or invest in complementary companies, products or technologies.
The company has never been profitable, losing $7.5 million in 1997 and $13 million in 1998.
Paul Riley, a managing director and company secretary of Australian Mezzanine, joined the company’s board of directors in March 1998. Robert Ryan, chairman of Entrepreneur America, and Scott Whiteside, director of Strategy and Technology/New Media at Cox Enterprises Inc., both followed in May 1998. Anthony Castagna, a non-executive director of Macquarie Technology Funds Management Pty Ltd., joined the board in March.
Look Smart – Selected Financial
(in thousands, except per share data)
Fiscal Year Ended Six Months Ended
31-Dec-97 31-Dec-96 June 30, 1999
Total revenue 949 8,785 17,070
Net loss -7,514 -12,858 -19,374
Net loss per share -0.08 -0.68 -0.91