The price range translates into a valuation range of $1.01B-$1.17B for 58.com (WUBA), whose leading position in the Chinese online classifieds market has fueled comparisons to Craigslist. 11M shares are being sold; Morgan Stanley, Citi, Pac Crest, and Credit Suisse are underwriting. (S-1)
58.com allows users to post on its site and apps for free (like Craigslist), and monetizes them via ad services. The company had 1H revenue of $58.8M (+51% Y/Y), and posted net income of $285K after losing $19.3M a year earlier. Sales/marketing spend managed to drop 5% Y/Y to $40M, but R&D spend rose 53% to $11.8M.
Monthly unique visitors averaged 129.7M in Q2, active merchants totaled 4.3M, and average daily listings came in at 1.9M. iResearch estimates 58.com had a 38.1% share of the Chinese online classifieds market (in terms of cash receipts) in 2012. Rivals include local firms Ganji and Baixing.
The company recently struck a partnership with Baidu related to the latter's Light App mobile app platform. It also has an online payments partnership with Alibaba's Alipay unit.
2013 has been a very good year for Chinese Internet stocks. 58.com's offering might benefit from the momentum.