Autoweb.com Inc. has filed a registration statement with the federal government for a $57.5 million initial public offering of stock.
The Santa Clara, Calif., company is the second online auto buying service to file a registration statement for an initial public offering in less than two weeks. Autobytel.com, of Irvine, Calif., also intends to launch an offering. (See related story on Page 18.)
Both companies charge dealers to match them up with online car shoppers.
Autoweb.com, which also makes money by selling advertising space on its Web site, had revenues of $13 million in 1998, according to a prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday, Jan. 25.
But, like many other Internet companies, Autoweb.com is in the red. The company has lost money every year since its startup in 1995, amounting to $11.5 million in 1998, the prospectus says.
'Internet companies don't have to prove themselves,' said Sheldon Sandler, managing director and founder of Bel Air Partners in Princeton, N.J. 'All you have to do is put a 'dot com' in your prospectus and you're a success. I think the Internet is going to have a significant impact on the auto business, but there will be a shake-out (among Internet companies).'
Autoweb.com expects the offering to take place in late March.