Sunday, February 1, 2009

OpenTable Files for IPO

OpenTable, the online restaurant reservation site that was founded in 1998, is hoping to raise as much as $40 million in an IPO, according to its filing with the SEC. The prospectus offers a detailed look at the company’s finances and operations.

Revenues through the nine months ended September 30, 2008 were $41.3 million, a 41 percent increase from the same period in 2007. The company makes money from the restaurants, which pay both subscription fees (54 percent of revenues) and reservation fees for each diner that shows up through the system (42 percent of revenues). It also makes a small amount on installation fees (4 percent of revenues).

The company lost 149,000 in net income, but turned an operating profit of 261,000. That is a rather slim margin, however, it appears that the company was spending as much as it could to grow and take market share, especially internationally where it is just getting started. Operating income in North America for teh period was $6.8 million, whereas the company took an operating loss of $6.5 million internationally. Those are startup costs, since it is just getting its foot in the door at restaurants outside the U.S. and Canada.

As of September 30, 2008, OpenTable offered reservations at 9,709 restaurants worldwide, 8,788 of which were in North America It seated 25.5 million diners the first nine months of last year, up 45 percent. It employed 292 people, and had $17.4 million in cash.