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28.04.2012 10:54
Inrix Says $1 Billion Valuation Possible as IPO Is Considered

Inrix Inc., a traffic-information provider backed by venture investors, is moving toward an initial public offering that may value the enterprise at more than $1 billion, Chief Executive Officer Bryan Mistele said.

The company, based in Kirkland, Washington, might seek to raise $75 million to $100 million by offering 10 percent to 15 percent of Inrix shares through underwriters, Mistele said in an interview. Inrix is talking with banks, looking for a transaction “in the short term,” he said.

“We’ve had numerous Fortune 500 companies approach us about an acquisition,” Mistele said yesterday, while declining to name any. “Our path is an IPO. Our company is certainly big enough in terms of scale.”

While Inrix won’t disclose its revenue, the figure has grown 75 percent annually for the last three years, Mistele said. The company is the biggest in its field, is profitable and has 300 employees in five countries, he said. Inrix faces competitors such as Amsterdam-based TomTom NV (TOM2) in the market for traffic data, directions and driver services.

Globally, the number of navigation systems receiving traffic data may grow to 37.6 million in 2018 from 8.5 million in 2010, according to John Canali, a Newton, Massachusetts-based senior analyst for Strategy Analytics Inc., a research company.

Inrix’s investors include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (ZZISK), Bain Capital LLC’s venture arm, Venrock Associates and August Capital. Inrix raised $37 million last July to finance growth. Mistele declined to name the potential underwriters for an IPO.

The company’s traffic information is viewed by more than 150 million people daily, according to Mistele. Inrix would use the IPO proceeds to push expansion to China, Brazil and Russia, he said. The company, founded in 2005, also seeks to invest in building analytics applications, such as software to help cities pinpoint traffic bottlenecks.

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