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InPhonic Shares Debut, Gain

D.C. Wireless Reseller Opens at $19, Closes at $24

By Michael S. Rosenwald
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 17, 2004; Page E05

Shares of InPhonic Inc., a Washington reseller of wireless service and telephones over the Internet, rose 26 percent yesterday on their first day of trading.

InPhonic sold 7.5 million shares -- 1 million of which belonged to insiders -- for $19 each. It had filed to sell 7 million shares at $15 to $17 each.

InPhonic founder and chief executive David J. Steinberg sold 125,000 of his 6.3 million shares. (Susan Biddle -- The Washington Post)

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InPhonic closed at $24 a share, up $5.

The offering raised $108.9 million, compared with the $85.3 million the company had expected, according to its Securities and Exchange Commission filings. InPhonic plans to use $10.5 million to pay down debt, $10.1 million to pay dividends, and the rest as operating capital.

As part of the current offering, founder and chief executive David A. Steinberg sold 125,000 of his 6.3 million shares, including options and other interests, for $2.37 million. He now controls roughly 20 percent of InPhonic shares.

Board member Robert A. Fox and his venture capital firm RAF NetVentures LP, sold 176,161 shares for $3.34 million. Another board member, Mark J. Levine, made $2.8 million by selling 148,566 shares that he controls.

Insiders and other investors together will receive $17.7 million, the company said.

InPhonic tried to go public in late 2002 but pulled back, citing poor market conditions.

Jay C. Hoag and his California venture capital firm Technology Crossover Ventures invested $56 million in InPhonic last year, allowing the company to put off its public offering. At the time, the parties said the deal included the purchase of an unspecified number of private shares.

Hoag and his firm didn't sell any of their more than 8 million shares, which account for roughly 25 percent of the company.

Since its inception in 1999, InPhonic has had significant losses. It lost $17.3 million in 2001, $29 million in 2002 and $20 million in 2003.

Recently the company narrowed its losses. In the third quarter, InPhonic lost $1.1 million on $54 million in revenue, compared with an $11 million loss on $31.8 million in revenue in the third quarter last year.

© 2004 The Washington Post Company