FuboTV has filed for an IPO with the Securities & Exchange Commission — as CEO David Gandler promised back when the live streaming platform merged with Facebank Group in April to “uplist” the securities to a major stock exchange.
Fubo declined to comment beyond the initial public offering registration submitted to the SEC for approval. The company already trades over-the-counter where smaller-cap stocks usually live. It plans to keep the same symbol, ‘FUBO.’
FaceBank, an AR/VR tech company that makes avatars and characters for virtual entertainment, acquired the much better-known FuboTV last spring. The combined company, formally Facebank, calls itself FuboTV and is in process of formally changing its name. FuboTV launched in 2015 as one of the earliest virtual MVPDs, although now dwarfed by the likes of Hulu and YouTube TV. It brought in some heavy hitting investors among venture capital firms and big media companies.
Walt Disney, in a separate SEC filing Tuesday that created a momentary kerfuffle on Twitter, reported ownership of a chunk in FuboTV that currently equates to less than 5% of the voting control through an inherited investment by Twenty-First Century Fox. Comcast and Discovery are also investors. Edgar Bronfman, Jr. is on the board. So is Pär-Jörgen Pärson, a partner at venture capital fund Northzone, which is also an investor.
FuboTV has been growing subscriptions and ad revenue and said in the SEC prospectus it had 287,316 paid subscribers as of March 31 — a 37% increase from the year earlier but down from the prior quarter due to seasonality and suspension of the sports seasons stemming from COVID-19. It said it will unveil its most recent financials for the June quarter this week sometime.
It noted in the filing that competition in the general stream sector is fierce.
Fubo offers thousands of live sporting events annually (when there are live sports) and expanded into news and entertainment content with a standard package of over 100 channels. It recently dropped Turner networks and raised its prices, as have other virtual MVPDs (multichannel video programming distributors) amid stiff competition and rising programming costs.
Facebank specializes in technology-driven IP and character-based virtual entertainment — developing digital human likeness for celebrities and consumers for applications in traditional entertainment, sports entertainment, live events, social networking, mixed reality (AR/VR) and artificial intelligence.
The idea of putting the two companies together is still to be proven but the concept “is to leverage FuboTV’s content delivery platform for traditional and future-form content including projects like Virtual Championship Boxing with Floyd Mayweather,” the filing said.
Evercore ISI is acting as the lead book-running manager for the proposed offering. BMO Capital Markets Corp., Needham & Company and Oppenheimer & Co. are acting as additional joint bookrunners for the proposed offering. Roth Capital Partners and Wedbush Securities are acting as co-managers for the proposed offering.