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RealNetworks to launch IPO

Streaming audio and video pioneer RealNetworks is looking to raise upwards of $33 million through its initial public offering, according to a filing with the SEC.

Streaming audio and video pioneer RealNetworks is looking to raise upwards of $33 million through its initial public offering, according to a filing today with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company plans to float out 3 million shares, and has priced them between $9 and $11 a share. Based on that range, the company would have a market value of $340.6 million or more.

RealNetworks, formerly known as Progressive Networks, also reported its performance for the nine-month period ending September 30. The company posted revenues of $22.4 million for the period, compared with $8.3 million a year ago. Its net loss grew to $8.6 million, from $2.3 million in the previous year-ago period.

RealNetworks is one of the latest tech companies to announce plans for an IPO and follows on the heels of other companies that have jumped on the increasingly hot tech-IPO market of late.

In its earnings report, RealNetworks also updated the source of its revenues. Software licensing fees generated $17.6 million for the nine-month period, compared with $7.2 million a year ago. And advertising fees accounted for $1.6 million, compared with $426,000 a year ago. Finally, service revenues accounted for $3.3 million, compared with $635,000 a year ago.

RealNetworks' interest in raising capital comes at a time when it has accumulated a growing deficit and increased competition in streaming media is gaining steam. The company previously has cited Microsoft's recent acquisition in July of Vxtreme, a direct competitor of RealNetworks, as an example of this stepped-up competition.

Even though Microsoft took only a minority stake in RealNetworks, Unisys is concerned that the investment will dramatically increase competitive pressure. That could lead to pricing pressure and longer sales cycles, and could curtail RealNetworks' market share, the company said in its filing.

RealNetworks plans to trade under "RNWK" on Nasdaq. Its underwriters are Goldman Sachs, Montgomery Securities, and Robertson Stephens.