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Marimba: IPO is go

Net push company greenlights share release to net $56 million

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Push technology developer Marimba finally filed its IPO gameplan with the US Securities and Exchange commission this week, as predicted (see earlier story). The filing does not indicate how many shares will be issued, and no starting price is disclosed -- details will be posted in a separate filing. However, it is believed the company hopes to raise up to $56 million through the issue, but the finalu figure could be much higher thanks to the massive interested in Internet companies' IPOs. Kim PoleseThat should net the company's photogenic CEO, Kim Polese, a significant windfall, through her 13 per cent stake in the company. The IPO document, called an 'S-1', also reveals some interesting background information on Marimba. For instance, it shows the company has yet to make money from its Castanet information and application delivery system. Since Marimba's formation in 1996, it has lost some $14.6 million. So much for all the hype and wild predictions of success that heralded the launch of Castanet, in February 1997, as the future of the Internet... For the company's last financial year, to 31 December 1998, it lost $5.7 million on revenues of $17.1 million. The year before it lost $7.7 million on revenues of $5.6 million, so the company is at least selling more software these days. Current high-profile customers include Compaq subsidiary AltaVista, Ingram Micro, Sun, Intuit, Bay Networks, Segasoft, Seagate and US DIY chain Home Depot. Marimba's plan to expand those sales, also described in the S-1, is to develop its non-domestic business, something it admits it has failed to capitalise upon: in 1997, non-US sales accounted for 22 per cent of Marimba's revenue; last year it was down to just seven per cent. ®

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