Jamdat to go public

First major wireless play takes a giant step toward the big time with $86 million IPO; files forms with SEC announcing intent to go public.

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Back in early 2000, one of Activision's highest-ranking executives, Mitch Lasky, turned his back on the traditional gaming business model of producing and investing in products aimed for PCs and proprietary consoles and bet big on wireless.

As head of worldwide studios at Activision, he had access to millions of development dollars and looked down upon a dense and growing network of studios. With his departure from Activision, he stood at the forefront of the unexplored, untried, and unknown edge of the gaming landscape. With a startup he called Jamdat (cofounded with Scott Lahman, Zack Norman, and Austin Murray), Lasky was one of the first accomplished business people to leave the traditional space for mobile.

One day he was one of the game industry's most powerful players. The next, he was just another dreamer with a Rolodex.

Today's filing of form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission signals that Lasky, CEO of Jamdat Mobile, is once again braving the odds. Completing and filing form S-1 is a company's first step toward going public. The company filed for an initial public offering of $86 million in common stock.

The offering, to be placed on the NASDAQ exchange, is being backed by brokerage companies Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch & Co., and UBS Investment Bank. The company will trade under the symbol "JMDT."

The documents, written in the overly cautious language common in S-1 filings, reveal a number of data points concerning the company--and they don’t exactly paint a picture of a company rolling in cash. "Since commencing operations in March 2000, our revenues have grown to $13.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2003, and $7.0 million for the three months ended March 31, 2004. We had a net loss of $7.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2003, and generated net income of $0.7 million for the three months ended March 31, 2004."

In addition, the document outlines numerous potential trouble zones ahead. The document reveals that Jamdat has "only recently attained profitability, and we cannot be certain this profitability will be sustainable." In addition, the company recognizes the possibility that formidable competition, both in the US and in oversees markets, could stand in its way. "We face different market dynamics and competition outside the United States," the document reads. "In some international markets, our competitors have greater brand recognition and broader distribution than we have. We may not be as successful as our competitors in generating revenues in international markets due to our inability to provide applications that are attractive to the local market."

The SEC documents were signed today in Los Angeles by Jamdat CEO Lasky, the company's CFO Michael Marchetti, and company directors J. William Gurley and Paul Vais.

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