RealTime IT News

WebEx Prepares to Meet Public Investors

While enterprises looking to get groups together for meetings on the Net can do so in real-time with WebEx, Inc., the firm is aiming to meet with anxious investors at the stock market rushing to take a stake in its initial public offering.

A Web collaboration service provider, WebEx seeks to pick-up more than $40 million during its forthcoming stock offering.

WebEx will sell 3.5 millions shares, or 11 percent of its stock at $12 to $14 per share. Shares will be traded under the highly appropriate NASDAQ stock symbol "WEBX."

Based in Silicon Valley, the 5-year-old firm initiated an amended filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission this week. WebEx made its initial filing with the SEC in April, but a shaky market made the firm delay its public stock debut. At this time, no official offering date has been scheduled.

WebEx employs approximately 195 people that develop and manage its interactive communications service in San Jose, CALIF. It offers a variety of options for holding meetings, including a free 10-minute introductory service for 4 people or less.

Pay-per-use meetings with advanced communications capabilities are available at a its meeting center services site for businesses. The meetings are priced on a per participant, per minute basis. The current rate is $0.20 per minute per user with additional charges for teleconferencing.

Businesses using WebEx collaboration services are provided with an estimated cost of their meeting when a gathering is scheduled. Credit card processing is completed at the conclusion of the meeting.

WebEx has established working alliances with leading Internet firms, including EarthLink, Inc. subsidiary MindSpring Enterprises, Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. , and Lucent Technologies, Inc. , among others.

The firm's funding efforts have also benefited from three rounds of financing totaling more than $57 million. Investors include Deutsche Telekom AG , Yahoo!, Inc. , and TIBCO Software, Inc. .

Collaborative service and support technology is a relatively new Internet-based service segment. The application service provider business model has facilitated the fast-paced growth of firms like WebEx, which can quickly deliver enterprise-class collaboration services.

Independent research firm International Data Corp. expects that the industry segment will evolve over the next two or three years, in step with the way communication services continually evolve over the Web.

For the first quarter of this year, WebEx posted a net loss of $14.8 million on revenues of $2.2 million. A successful stock offering could catapult the firm to the upper echelon of the collaboration service market currently lead by publicly held Akamai Technologies, Inc. .