Last Thursday saw smart speaker Sonos launch its initial public offering (IPO) that raised $208.5 million, underscoring the growth potential of the smart speaker device market.
Shares began trading at $15, which, according to Investors.com, was slightly below expectations, although picked up steam by the end of day, closing trading at $19.91.
While Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple Home are currently reigning champions of the smart speaker market, Sonos is making serious inroads by positioning itself as first a high-tech speaker system, secondly a voice assistant — directly contrary to the market leaders.
“Sonos has been on the market for so long,” commented Lidiane Jones, VP of software product management at Sonos.
“Given the team that we have and the brand that we’ve built, it’s the perfect time for investors to embrace our product.”
Both industry experts and seasoned investors agree with this line of thinking, and believe it says something wider about the smart home device industry as a whole — it’s finally going mainstream.
Mitchell Klein, executive director of the Z-Wave Alliance, said that, “It’s not a surprise that we’re seeing another IPO for a company in the smart home space; the market opportunity for the connected home and IoT more broadly is enormous.”
So, what’s next for Sonos?
While details of any future product launches are yet to be revealed, it’s clear that the capital raised from the IPO will be put into further product development. According to Tom’s Guide, the company currently has a whopping 570 patents in progress and they’ve already been flexing their creative muscle in the speaker world by creating the Sonos Beam — a soundbar with Amazon Alexa built in.
Sure, the lofty success of products like Amazon Echo and Google Home may seem far away now, but it’s clear from this IPO that Sonos has serious ambitions in the smart home industry. And by distinguishing themselves as first and foremost a serious speaker, they’re incentivizing their potential customer base to buy on the basis of quality rather than just a recognizable name.