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January 10, 2008 2:55 PM
Posted by Tricia Duryee
Intelius, the company that provides online background checks and sells cellphone numbers to consumers, filed for an initial public offering today, according to documents filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission.
The Bellevue-based company said it hopes to raise up to $143.8 million in the offering. It would trade on the Nasdaq market under the symbol "INTL."
Co-founder, CEO and President Naveen Jain previously founded InfoSpace, which at its height was worth more than Boeing. He was ultimately let go and paid a multi-million dollar settlement amid allegations of insider trading.
A Seattle Times investigation published in 2005 found that Jain, 48, and other InfoSpace executives appeared to have boosted the company's stock value with accounting tricks and dubious deals in 2000. The investigation found they concealed revenue shortfalls and made "lazy Susan" deals in which company officials invested in other firms that, in turn, sent money back that InfoSpace could count as revenue.
His new company has run into criticism for selling what some people would consider private information, but Intelius maintains that it gets the information from public documents.
In its IPO filing, the company reported that it had a profit of $6.1 million on revenue of $60.2 million for the nine months ended Sept. 2007. In the same period a year earlier, it earned $4.4 million on revenue of about $40 million.
The company said it has a long list of things it wants to accomplish with the money it raises. It said it will put it toward expanding its customer base; expanding its portfolio offerings; increasing online advertising; increasing repeat customers; building a brand; and expanding through acquisitions.