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Will Lindows IPO Be Robertson's Encore to MP3.com IPO?

Lindows Inc. CEO Michael Robertson is using OpenIPO to raise $57,500,000 for Linspire. Will he succeed?

It worked for Andover.net, the media company that bought Slashdot.org in June 1999: WR Hambrecht + Co's OpenIPO auction process.

Will it work for Lindows, Inc. now that it has filed its registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the initial public offering of its common stock? The timing could be very fortunate or very fortunate, depending how you look at it: Google's own IPO announcement is expected today or tomorrow, and is a much bigger offering.

OpenIPO, according to WR Hambrecht + Co, is "an innovative auction process for distributing stock to individuals and institutions through a more efficient and equitable process."

"The auction process allows shares of an initial public offering to be allocated in an equal and impartial way," says the company Web site. "All successful bidders pay the same price per share." It even has a Flash demo Flash demo Flash demo showing how OpenIPO works.

Lindows was started by Michael Robertson, whose past ventures include his tenure as Founder, CEO, and Chairman of the Board at MP3.com from March 1998 to August 28, 2001. As the mastermind of MP3.com, Robertson established the largest collection of digital music in the world, amassing more than 1 million downloadable MP3 files. He also spearheaded change in corporate business music services and put the power of CD creation in artists' hands by offering a host of support technologies and services.

For Andover.net, the process raised $82,800,000 in 1999; for Salon.com the same year it raised $27,300,000 - can Michael Robertson use it to raise $57,500,000 for Linspire? There's only one way to find out...

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Most Recent Comments
Kyle Weigel 04/28/04 01:49:45 AM EDT

I don't see Lindows being very successful, perhaps the hype will help after the ipo so the Lindows execs can bail before it dies.

AssetDumping? 04/26/04 03:16:29 PM EDT

So is this just another case of corporate execs dumping their investment on the public to cash out? Lindows doesn't seem a large enough company to get much out of an ipo at this time. I would watch if Lindows execs start bailing after the ipo. This could be a bad sign.

One Louder 04/26/04 03:15:04 PM EDT

Sounds to me like legal way to scam/cash in on hype and an overenthusiastic general public.

Okay. So people are bidding ridiculously high prices on a speculative tech stock. What's the problem? I don't see single mothers and starving children being physically coerced into bidding on IPOs. It sounds to me like you're complaining that consenting adults with extra cash are being allowed to speculate with THEIR OWN MONEY! Imagine that. Next up: Loterry tickets, slot machines, and the blackjack table have worse odds than tech IPOs.

you have a table set for even more inflated IPO:s and ludicrous business models going public

Okay. So don't bid on it, tell your aging parents to not bid on it. And then chill out. Nobody is doing something they don't want to do here.

One Louder 04/26/04 03:14:07 PM EDT

I agree it's not perfect, but it's better than letting the investment bankers and large institutional investors be the only ones able to get the opening price.

Buddie Fox 04/26/04 03:13:07 PM EDT

OpenIPO sounds to me like legal way to scam/cash in on hype and an overenthusiastic general public.

Benjamin Graham (Warren Buffet's "idol") used to say that IPO stands for "It's Probably Overpriced".

Factor that in with an irrational and overenthusiastic general public lacking investment skills thinking all IPO:s are winners (they usually forget the last bubble in good times) and you have a table set for even more inflated IPO:s and ludicrous business models going public.

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