SAN FRANCISCO (03/20/2000) - Following a flurry of recent press releases to promote its research findings, online market researcher Greenfield Online Inc. says it intends to become a publicly traded company. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Greenfield Online filed for a public offering to raise as much as $86 million.
The amount of shares has not yet been determined. CS First Boston will be the deal's lead underwriter. Greenfield will use the funds to pay off close to $23 million in debt. The remaining equity will be used to expand the company's operations. Greenfield conducts its Internet market research through an online panel of respondents.
They currently have more than 500,000 panelists in households that contain a combined 1.6 million people. Greenfield collects more than 70 fields of demographic and lifestyle data from these respondents. The company continues to grow its respondent base through its proprietary NetReach software and its new QuickTake service - a customizable survey tool that allows marketers to get real-time opinions about their products and services.
Despite its large respondent base and extensive consumer data, Greenfield Online has yet to turn a profit. The firm reported revenues of $5.6 million in 1999, but it posted a net loss of $4.6 million. The company expects to suffer net losses for the foreseeable future. Greenfield is the latest entrant in what has become a flood of Net research IPOs. Media Metrix, NetRatings, Jupiter Communications and Harris Interactive all went public in 1999. Cyber Dialogue, a Net market researcher which recast itself as a customer relationship managment solutions provider, filed to go public in mid-February.
Investor reception to Net research IPOs has been mixed. Greenfield's closest competitor, Harris Interactive, raised $81 million in a December IPO. Although the stock was offered at $14 and reached a first-day high of $24, it has declined steadily and closed today at $8.