To my mind, this smells like opportunism, after all, the search engine has gotten very little traction and the company has no profits. That’s the kind of IPO that got us into trouble last time. The offering is dressed in a Google like auction process to boot. So I took a quick look at the S1. It’s clear from first blush, this is not a search company. Sure, they have a search engine, but what revenues they have they seem to have purchased – and they are all ecommerce sites. And while the S1 speaks of six sites that provide its revenues, I can’t find them listed anywhere. I’ll keep looking, but if you all can find em, let us know.
Acconna is also playing the “China is hot” card by playing up a deal with the China Daily Information Company.
Furthermore, the company is losing a lot of money, and seems on track to lose a lot more. They lost $50 million last year, and lost nearly $15 million in the first quarter of this year.
More from the S1:
We are an Internet company engaged in three primary business lines — online-based lead generation, online search in the United States, Europe and China, and e-commerce consumer electronics retailing. Our services assist our users in finding the products, services and information they want, obtaining competitive pricing and making informed buying decisions. We use our expertise in technology, marketing and management to support and create efficiencies across our business lines, which are organized primarily into the following sectors:
• Online-based lead generation — We developed and operate ExchangePlaceTM, which we believe is one of the first U.S. online-based marketplaces that enables consumers to obtain offers from as many as four providers of services in which they are interested and allows providers to bid for the opportunity to contact qualified consumers, or leads, (i.e., those meeting the providers’ criteria), across a range of vertical markets. We believe that these leads are more valuable to providers because of the greater likelihood they will result in sales, thereby resulting in increased returns on investment, or ROI, for those providers.
• Search — We have developed and operate an artificial intelligence driven search engine in the United States, China and Europe. Our business plan contemplates the development of techniques to use our existing technologies to enable our users to better access certain specialized search markets. In addition, we operate a shopping comparison search engine, BuyersEdge.com, that allows shoppers to search for and compare products and prices available at numerous online merchants.
• E-commerce — We operate six Internet retail websites offering primarily a wide selection of consumer electronics and home appliances, backed by customer service and support. According to a report in TWICE, in 2006, the combined revenues of our e-commerce sites made us one of the top 10 consumer-direct electronics retailers in North America by online revenue and one of the top 55 consumer electronics retailers overall.
Update: Silicon Alley Insider goes a bit deeper. Ouch.