Technology

Skype files for IPO; to raise $100 million

MUMBAI: In its bid to raise $100 million to diversify and boost its user base and revenue, Internet phoning giant Skype has filed for an IPO. For this matter to fructify, the Luxembourg-based company would sell as much as $100 million of depositary shares held by its existing owners.


The company plans to use the money it raises from the IPO for "general business purposes" as it follows a strategy to grow both its base of free users and paid subscribers, increase its marketing and advertising revenue and expand its services for businesses.
 
In the first half of 2010, Skype increased its net revenue 25 per cent to $406.1 million from $324.8 million in the same period of the preceding year. However, its net income dropped to $13.1 million from $22.5 million.


As of 30 June this year, Skype had a monthly average of 124 million free users and 8.1 million paying users, up from 91 million free users and 6.6 million paying users respectively in the second quarter of 2009. Compared to 397 million users it had in the second quarter of 2009, Skype has as much as 560 million in the same period this year.
 
Since it was founded in 2003, the company has been wanting to float an IPO but gave up its plans when it was acquired by eBay for $2.6 billion. Later the VoIP service it started proved to be a failure, after which eBay thought of getting rid of Skype.
Zennstrom and co-founder Janus Friis then filed a litigation against eBay, which had failed to acquire key Skype software when it purchased the VoIP company. The litigation was settled when the Skype founders received an undisclosed amount of Skype equity.
 

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