Just when you thought the IPO market for travel-oriented tech companies was dead, along comes Gogo to test the waters.
Gogo, formerly known as Aircell, filed an IPO registration statement today, and the company indicates it has not yet determined how many shares it will offer or at what price.
The IPO filing hadn't been widely rumored, but makes sense for a company trying to scale up its equipment and service offerings.
The Illinois-based company, which provides wireless services and equipment for both the commercial and business aviation markets, says it would use any funding infusion for general corporate purposes. Gogo started offering Wi-Fi service for commercial aviation in 2008.
Gogo provides wireless connectivity to nine of the 10 carriers in North America which provide onboard Wi-Fi, but the company isn't exactly a picture of profitability yet.
Its net income was nearly $2.4 million during the first nine months of 2011, an improvement from a $117.3 million loss in the first nine months of 2010.
And, Gogo's operating loss in the first nine months of 2011 was nearly $26.5 million.
However, revenue for the first nine months of 2011 was on the upswing, increasing 89.3% to almost $113.8 million.
Gogo dominates the North America market for onboard Wi-Fi equipment.
As of September 30, 2011, it had equipped 85% of Internet-enabled commercial aircraft in North America, or 1,177 planes. It has added another 146 aircraft in the past three months and has signed contracts, with installations expected in 2012, for another 525 aircraft.
"Gogo-equipped planes representing approximately 42% of our consolidated revenue for the nine months ended September 30, 2011, are contracted under 10-year agreements, the earliest of which expires in 2018," the company says.
Among pure-play travel-tech companies, Kayak filed a registration statement for an IPO in November 2010, but has yet to execute an IPO. Google's acquisition of ITA Software complicated matters for Kayak, and then the IPO market seemingly dried up for Kayak and a lot of companies.
Another travel-oriented company waiting in the wings for a possible IPO is restaurant-review company Yelp, which filed a registration statement on November 17, 2011.
Yelp's user reviews predominantly focus on restaurants (43%) and shopping (20%).
Although just 2% of Yelp's consumer reviews cover travel and hotels, it is clear that travelers utilize Yelp's restaurant reviews, and thus its prospects are of interest to the travel industry.