Monster Products Inc. is planning what could be the largest initial coin offering ever, hoping to raise up to $300 million in an ambitious bid to build a global payment system and revitalize the company’s sagging fortunes.
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week, the maker of consumer-electronics cables, surge protectors and headphones said it intends to offer 300 million “Monster Money Tokens” at $1 each to raise funds to build a new e-commerice platform — the “Monster Money Network,” based on Ethereum
blockchain technology. The company said consumers would be able to buy its products and services — and potentially partners’ products as well — using either Monster tokens or fiat currencies.
“We intend to utilize the blockchain technology to our marketing, accounting and audit, internal control and shipping management functions,” the company said in the filing. “We believe the blockchain innovation will bring disruptive advancement to our e-commerce and business operation systems.”
If it manages to raise the full $300 million, it would be the largest ICO on record, according to Coinist. Currently, the largest ICO was FileCoin’s $257 million offering in 2017.
Monster said it hopes to use its “influence, scale and global connections” to lure other e-commerce platforms onto its network, once it is established, and eventually compete with Amazon.com Inc.
, eBay Inc.
and Alibaba Group Holdings Inc.
The shift to blockchain-based e-commerce could be seen as a Hail Mary effort by the company, which is facing mounting losses.
Monster — formerly known as Monster Cable — lost a significant chunk of its revenue base when its partnership with headphones-maker Beats Electronics came to an acrimonious end in 2012. Two years later, Beats was bought by Apple Inc.
for $3 billion. Since their divorce, Monster and Beats have been entangled in a messy legal dispute over contractual obligations, with Monster arguing that Beats owes it about $100 million, while Beats says it is owed $95 million from Monster.
In the SEC filing, Monster said it continues to incur operating losses, with a net loss of $26.7 million in 2017, and a $19.6 million loss in the first quarter of 2018. “The amount of future losses and when, if ever, we will achieve profitability are uncertain,” the company said.