Israeli Startup to Raise Up to $100m in IPO on NYSE

Wix, a startup providing website building and management services, is planning initial public offering as its revenues and number of paying users grow.

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Israeli startup Wix.com, which provides website construction and management services, filed with American regulators on Tuesday to raise up to $100 million in an initial public offering.

The company, which sells cloud computing-based design templates for websites, claimed $34.1 million in revenues in the first six months of this year and net losses of $10.1 million, after chalking up $43.7 million in revenues and $15 million in net losses in 2012. In 2011, the company had $24.6 million in revenues and a net loss of $22.7 million. The company's main expenses are sales and marketing, which cost $29 million in 2012.

Wix said in its preliminary prospectus that 37 million businesses, organizations, professionals and individuals from 190 countries have used its platform. Of these, 680,000 were said to be paying users. Wix also has an App Market service, which allows users to install more than 140 different apps on their websites. The company has grown in terms of paying users and revenue for 14 consecutive quarters as of the end of June.

The main shareholders in Wix are venture capital funds Mangrove Venture Partners (27%), Bessemer Venture Partners (26%), Benchmark Capital (13.2%) and Insight Venture Partners (12.2%). The company has raised $66 million in funding from investors until now, according to the website IVC Online.

Wix previously rejected an acquisition offer that valued the company at more than $200 million. Already in 2011, the company stated its intention to eventually list its shares on an American exchange.

Wix was founded in 2006 by Giora Kaplan and the brothers Nadav and Avishai Abrahami. The company has 425 employees, including 346 in Israel and 59 in the United States.

The company intends to use the proceeds from the IPO to hire additional staff, to increase its sales and marketing efforts and for general corporate purposes. The amount of money a company says it plans to raise in its first IPO filings is used to calculate registration fees. The final size of the IPO could be different.

JP Morgan Securities, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Smith and RBC Capital Markets were underwriting the IPO, Wix told the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in a preliminary prospectus.

The company plans to list its common stock on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "WIX."

Wix headquarters in Tel Aviv, Israel.Credit: Moti Milrod

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