$40 Million IPO Reveals Signs of Intelligent Life

They were aiming for $46 million (US$) and they obtained $41 million after expenses, which makes Intelligent Life’s IPO Thursday less than remarkable, but surely a success of some kind for the North Palm Beach, Florida-based publisher of Web personal finance sites.

The owners of Bankrate.com, theWhiz.com and other personal finance Web sites, Intelligent Life sold 3.5 million shares of common stock at $13 a share. The lead underwriters for the offering were ING Baring Furman Selz and Warburg Dillon Read.

Company spokesman Peter Minford said they were pleased with the results, though clearly Intelligent Life’s IPO did not tickle investor’s fancy like fellow Web publisher TheStreet.com’s earlier this week or MarketWatch.com’s in January.

“We accomplished the initial objective of the offering by raising funds which will be used to expand our business with increased marketing and promotion, investments in editorial and content production and possible future acquisitions,” Minford told the E-Commerce Times Friday.

Minford went on to say that Intelligent Life is not as well known as many of the higher-priced IPO’s, but that investors should research the company and compare the similaraties in content, distribution, revenues and unique visitors.

Launches Spanish Site, Inks Deal With USA Today

As is the custom with many online businesses and their penchant for distributing news as quickly as possible, Intelligent Life also announced Friday the unveiling of a personal finance and investing information site for Spanish-speaking consumers and a deal with USA Today that its Bankrate.com site has been selected as a provider of banking and credit products information for the national newspaper’s site.

Bankrate.com offers users access to rates on 46 financial products, including credit cards, auto loans and mortgage rates in 126 local markets across the U.S. The company has 60 distribution agreements to co-brand the information. In the fourth quarter of 1998, Bankrate.com had more than 1.3 million unique visitors.

Global Connections

As of Friday, Spanish-speaking consumers can log on to Consejero.com to get the latest information on personal finance, investing, business opportunities, real estate and more.

The company is based in Miami and will draw upon a network of experienced journalists in major cities in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Spain. ”We have created a place where the Spanish-speaking consumer can stay informed, interact and transact on the Internet in the language they feel most comfortable in,” said Consejero.com Director, William Plasencia. Consejero means advisor in Spanish.

Intelligent Life lost $2.1 million in the last half of 1998, up from $904,000 the year before. Revenues nearly doubled to $3.5 million in the same period, up from $1.7 million the year before. The company’s main source of revenue is advertising. It did say, in a recent SEC filing that it was launching a subscription site for investors that would feature noted market watcher Elaine Garzarelli.

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