Chinese Groupon Clone Lashou Files For US IPO

  • Posted by
  • on October 28th, 2011

Lashou wants to raise at least $100m and will trade under the ticker $LASO. From a very quick scan of the Lashou F-1:

Our revenues grew from nil for the period from September 15, 2009 (date of inception) to December 31, 2009 to RMB10.5 million (US$1.6 million) for the year ended December 31, 2010 and to RMB57.8 million (US$8.9 million) for the six months ended June 30, 2011. Our gross billings grew from nil for the period from September 15, 2009 (date of inception) to December 31, 2009 to RMB123.2 million (US$19.1 million) for the year ended December 31, 2010 and to RMB626.7 million (US$97.0 million) for the six months ended June 30, 2011.

We are a growth stage company and incurred sales and marketing expenses for the year ended December 31, 2010 and the six months ended June 30, 2011 of RMB40.0 million (US$6.2 million) and RMB326.5 million (US$50.5 million), respectively. Our net losses were RMB0.7 million for the period from September 15, 2009 (date of inception) to December 31, 2009, RMB53.5 million (US$8.3 million) for the year ended December 31, 2010 and RMB391.3 million (US$60.5 million) for the six months ended June 30, 2011. As of June 30, 2011, our accumulated deficit was RMB474.2 million (US$73.4 million).

Due to legal restrictions in China, we conduct our business mainly through Beijing Lashou, our consolidated variable interest entity in China, that we effectively control through contractual arrangements.

The two biggest investors are GSR Ventures, which owns 38.9%, and Leonard Blavatnik’s Rebate Networks, which owns 12.1%, pre-IPO.  Herman Yu, Sina ($SINA) CFO, and Gong Yu, Qiyi ($BIDU) CEO, will join the board as independent directors when the IPO goes effective.

Lashou’s bankers are Barclays Capital, CICC HK Securities and Jeffries.

Lashou has already raised $127M in Series B and Series C rounds in 2011, and as of June 30, 2001 had $115m in the bank, though that number is surely smaller today.

Lashou is trying to draft off the Groupon (GRPN) IPO. Will US investors bite, or will the banks have to sell the deal in Asia, probably to high net worth Chinese accounts, as seems to have been the case in several of the China Internet IPOs over the last year?

One bright spot from this filing is that clearly the SEC is still approving VIE structures.

Lashou is doing better than Gaopeng, Groupon’s China JV, and the bankers probably love Groupon’s crazy $500m valuation of Gaopeng (see Did Groupon Value Its China JV Gaopeng at $500m in July? | DigiCha).

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