Motricity, Riding the Mobile Software Wave, Primed for $85M IPO This Week

Motricity, the Bellevue, WA-based mobile software company, is getting ready to pull the trigger on an initial public offering this week that could net more than $85 million, according to Renaissance Capital.

The company is planning to offer 6.75 million new shares at a range of $14 to $16 apiece, according to its most recent prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. If it can fetch the middle price in that range, Motricity will collect $101 million and start trading with an initial market value of about $580 million. After paying underwriting fees to JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and its other underwriters, plus other expenses, the company expects to net about $86 million, which it says it will use to acquire other companies, products, or technologies. The company’s proposed ticker symbol is (NASDAQ: MOTR).

Motricity, founded in 2001 in Oklahoma, doesn’t make a lot of noise in the local tech community. It moved to Bellevue in late December 2007 when it acquired the mobile division of Infospace for $135 million, and has been growing since. The company’s mCore platform is now being used by four of the world’s 10 biggest global wireless carriers, and provides customized access to the Web for 35 million people a month using wireless devices, according to the prospectus. Motricity generated $113 million in revenue a year ago, about three times as much as it did in 2007. The company operates in the red, although its loss narrowed from about $78 million in 2008 to just $16 million a year ago.

If Motricity can pull off this deal, it will boost the net worth of some pretty prominent people. The biggest stockholders heading into the IPO are Advanced Equities (28.6 percent), billionaire investor Carl Icahn (13.8 percent), Technology Crossover Ventures (10 percent), and New Enterprise Associates (9.8 percent). Ryan Wuerch, 42, the company’s chairman, CEO and founder, personally has 1.5 million shares, about a 4.8 percent stake, according to the prospectus. Motricity had 355 employees as of March 31.

Rich as some of those people might get off the deal, it might not be as much as they were expecting. Motricity filed its original S-1 IPO document in January, and said it hoped to raise as much as $250 million. From the looks of this recent filing on June 7, that’s not going to happen.

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