Sonos, an audio device and smart speaker maker, recently had a successful IPO debut. Starting from US$15 per share, the price rose to US$21 before closing at US$19.91. It was a 31.2% increase.
The company’s market value is pegged at US$1.95 billion. The result not only signified the company’s success, but also a smart home market that’s on the rise.
“The IPO is a sign that smart-home technology is finally seeing real mainstream consumer interest and adoption,” said Mitchell Klein, executive director of the Z-Wave Alliance, to tom’s guide. “I think we’ll see more companies like Sonos trying to emulate that,” Klein added.
Other public smart home companies have reported growth, including home automation service provider Control4, which indicates 13% in revenue growth from the second quarter of 2017 in its financial report, and Alarm.com, which indicates 25% in revenue growth in the latest quarter.
Today’s smart speakers are developed by tech giants which implanted their own voice assistants exclusively. Amazon Alexa doesn’t work with Google Home speakers and Google doesn’t allow Echo devices to access Google’s services. They want consumers to choose side.
Sonos went the other way. Its Sonos One smart speaker integrates all voice assistant platforms and at the same time provides excellent sound quality for home entertainment purposes. The speaker is shipped with Alexa built-in and has AirPlay2 to support Apple Music. It will include Google Assistant integration before the coming holiday season.
Amazon and Google put the focus on voice assistant and the importance of hardware comes second. “Sonos takes the opposite approach, which actually makes their devices seem more practical to the average consumer. Sonos now have an opportunity to leverage this difference in positioning to help boost consumer adoption of voice assistants,” said Bart Mroz, CEO of digital commerce consulting firm SUMO Heavy.
Sonos’ second Alexa-enabled device, the Sonos Beam, will hit the market soon. The sound bar sitting underneath a TV allows users to access all Alexa features while controlling the TV with voice.
Sonos’ CEO Patrick Spence didn’t provide further details on the company’s next move.