Fluidigm Corp., a San Francisco-based genomic device maker, hopes to go public.
The company, which attempted its first IPO during the thick of the financial crisis, earlier this month filed a shelf registration with the Securities & Exchange Commission for an initial public offering worth $86 million.
Fludigm makes disposable microfluidic chips designed for single cell diagnostics. The chips are capable of running about 100 different analyses, which explains their high price-point of $300 to $800, and work with $200,000 machines the company manufactures, according to Xconomy.
The so-called microarray machine market already has large players such as Santa Clara, Calif.-based Affymetrix Inc. (NSDQ:AFFX) and San Diego-based Illumina Inc. (NSDQ:ILMN). In October, Pacific Biosciences of California Inc. (NSDQ:PACB) entered the stock market and raised $200 million, and on the same day, Complete Genomics Inc. (NSDQ:GNOM) announced that it filed for an IPO worth almost $100 million. And last week Sequenom Inc. (NSDQ:SQNM) launched an $84 million secondary public offering. The genome sequencing market, which many of these companies are trying to corner, is expected to grow from $1.2 billion in 2009 to more than $3.6 billion by 2014, according to Scientia Advisors, which Pacific Biosciences cited in its IPO filing.
Fluidigm CEO Gajus Worthington told Xconomy that the company should profitable by mid-2011. Fluidigm has grown to about 200 employees at sites in San Francisco and Singapore.
“Despite the fact there was an enormous amount of pricing pressure in a bad economic time, the time has been good for us. It’s not been easy by any stretch of the imagination, but the company has done well,” he told the website.
Fluidigm’s revenues have been steadily increasing in the last three years. It brought in $4.5 million, $13.4 million and $23.6 million in 2007, 2008 and 2009, respectively, according to the SEC filing. For the nine months ended Sept. 30, the company reported a loss of $13.8 million, or $4.26 per diluted share, on sales of $20.9 million. That compares with a loss of 15.7 million, or $5.34 per share, on sales of $16.4 million for the same period last year.
Despite the financial improvements, however, the 11-year-old company has racked up debts of $196 million. The modest IPO, which, if completed, will net the company about $80 million after commission fees, won’t be a big payday for its investors, which include the government of Singapore (13 percent); Fidelity Funds (9.1 percent); Versant Ventures (8.5 percent); and Euclid SR Funds (7.1 percent), according to Xconomy.
If the company’s latest IPO is successful, it will trade under the symbol FLDM.