Term Sheet

The latest on private equity, M&A, deals and movements — from Wall Street to Silicon Valley

Delving into Chegg's IPO filing

August 14, 2013: 4:56 PM ET

chegglogoWhat textbook rental company Chegg did (and didn't) tell prospective investors.

FORTUNE -- Textbook rental company Chegg Inc. today filed for a $150 million IPO, with expectations that it will list next month at a premium to the $800 million valuation it received in its latter rounds of venture capital funding.

Chegg plans to trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol CHGG, with J.P. Morgan (JPM) and BoA Merrill Lynch (BAC) serving as lead underwriters.

Obviously there is lots of data in the company's registration statement, but two things jumped out in particular:

1. First half growth: If you look at Chegg's financials between 2010 and 2012, it's fairly uninspiring. Losses expanded at a faster clip than did revenue, and EBITDA kept slipping. But then comes the first half results for 2013, and you can understand why Chegg chose to wait until now to go public.

The company reports $17.96 million in EBITDA for the first half of 2013, compared to just $2.15 million for the first half of 2012. Revenue grew by 26% (up to nearly $117 million), while losses decreased by 34% ($32 million vs. $21 million). And, remember, all of this includes Q2 -- typically the company's slowest quarter, since students are rarely seeking new textbooks between April and June.

2. Digital? Chegg spends a lot of time talking about the risks of further textbook digitization, particularly if publishers begin offering deeper discounts for their electronic wares. And the company is trying to combat that future via a slew of digital offerings, including e-textbooks, online/mobile homework help and enrollment marketing services for colleges and universities. All together, Chegg says these digital services made up 20% of first half 2013 revenue, compared to 13% in 2012.

Unfortunately, there isn't a more detailed quantitative breakdown. No info on operating costs for these products, or how they compare to one another. I'd think prospective investors are going to want such figures, given that the company's ultimate future is unlikely to be print textbooks.

Sign up for Dan's daily email newsletter on deals and deal-makers: GetTermSheet.com

Posted in: , ,
Join the Conversation
About This Author
Dan Primack
Dan Primack
Senior Editor, Fortune

Dan Primack joined Fortune.com in September 2010 to cover deals and dealmakers, from Wall Street to Sand Hill Road. Previously, Dan was an editor-at-large with Thomson Reuters, where he launched both peHUB.com and the peHUB Wire email service. In a past journalistic life, Dan ran a community paper in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He currently lives just outside of Boston.

Email a Tip | @danprimack | RSS
Current Issue
  • Give the gift of Fortune
  • Get the Fortune app
  • Subscribe
Powered by WordPress.com VIP.