June 19, 2013, 12:16 PM

Online coupon company RetailMeNot files for an IPO

It plans to raise up to $230 million to spend on technology and acquisitions.

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RetailMeNot Inc., which operates coupon web sites based in the United States and Europe, plans to raise up to $230 million in an initial public offering of stock, according to a filing this week. The company did not say when it would start selling stock, but said it would be listed under the ticker symbol “SALE” on the Nasdaq stock market.

The Austin, TX-based company, which was founded in 2007 as Smallponds LLC, featured online coupons from more than 60,000 retailers and brands last year and recorded more than 450 million visits to its coupon web sites, according to its S-1 registration statement for its stock offering filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Its sites include RetailMeNot.com and Deals2Buy.com in the United States, VoucherCodes.co.uk in the United Kingdom, Deals.com in Germany, Actiepagina.nl in the Netherlands, and Bons-de-Reduction.com and Poulpeo.com in France.

RetailMeNot, until recently known as WhaleShark Media Inc., has increased its revenue more than tenfold since 2010, to $25.99 million from $2.34 million, including through acquisitions, according to the filing. For the first quarter ended March 31, 2013, its revenue rose 36.8% to $40.56 million year over year from $29.65 million, as net income rose 11.9% to $6.975 million from $6.233 million.

For the year ended Dec. 31, 2012, the company reported revenue of $144.69 million, up 80.0% from $80.40 million a year earlier and more than sevenfold from $16.86 million in 2010.

The company says that about 97% of its revenue in the first quarter of this year and for all of 2012 were derived from commissions earned from merchants when consumers made purchases using digital coupons offered through RetailMeNot’s web sites and mobile sites and apps. The remaining revenue comes from ads placed on its sites. “We expect that substantially all of our net revenues in the future will continue to be derived from commissions,” the company says in the S-1 filing.

The company, operating as WhaleShark Media, acquired the RetailMeNot.com web site in 2010, and took RetailMeNot as its corporate name in March of this year.

John Faith, senior vice president of external affairs at RetailMeNot, spoke about mobile commerce at the 2013 Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition last month in a session entitled “A look into the minds of mobile shoppers.”

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