Rent the Runway is part of a wave of ecommerce businesses that expect to test the public markets in the coming months. Allbirds Inc. is also preparing to potentially go public soon.

(Bloomberg)—Rent the Runway Inc., No. 311 in the 2021 Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000, has submitted a confidential filing for an initial public offering, according to a statement Monday.

The New York-based fashion rental business had been interviewing investment bankers for an IPO that could come as soon as this year, Bloomberg News previously reported.

The business is betting that its industry will rebound as vaccinations lead to more weddings and parties being scheduled again. Rent the Runway struggled early in the pandemic and saw its valuation dip down from $1 billion to $750 million, people familiar with the matter said last year, amid layoffs and the closure of some retail stores. Its investors include TCV, Bain Capital Ventures and Conde Nast-affiliated Advance Venture Partners.

Rent the Runway is part of a wave of ecommerce businesses that expect to test the public markets in the coming months. Allbirds Inc. is also preparing to potentially go public soon.

Started in 2009 by Jennifer Hyman and Jenny Fleiss as a way for women to rent dresses for special occasions, Rent the Runway expanded to everyday wear through subscriptions. Rent the Runway recently named actress and lifestyle-brand expert Gywneth Paltrow to its the board.

advertisement

BBQGuys to go public in SPAC deal

Online retailer BBQGuys (No. 287), which sells higher-end grills, also announced it will go public via a merger with special purpose acquisition company (or SPAC) Velocity Acquisition Corp, according to a press release published Tuesday. The merchant’s customer base includes outdoor living enthusiasts as well as professional contractors who are designing and building outdoor kitchens.

BBQGuys reached $253.8 million in revenue last year, up 67.5% from $151.5 million in 2019, according to a July investor presentation. The retailer expects to hit $332.0 million in digital sales this year, which would mark a 30.8% year-over-year increase. After 43 consecutive quarters of year-over-year topline growth, BBQGuys is hitting the stock market valued at $963 million. Given the company’s momentum and the potential to take market share in the $7 billion global barbecue market, it is now “positioned to become THE outdoor living ecosystem,” according to the investor presentation. That’s especially true given the pandemic’s impact on homeowners’ focus on backyard living.

The retailer, which was founded as a brick-and-mortar store in 1998 before transitioning into an online-only presence, invests heavily in content to bolster its claim that is the authority on grills, with expert reviews and a digital resource center for grilling techniques and recipes. In 2020, BBQGuys was acquired by private equity firm Brand Velocity Partners along with strategic investors including Archie, Peyton, Eli and Cooper Manning, who have become brand ambassadors.

Roughly 30% of BBQGuys’ projected revenue in 2021 is expected to come from the company’s owned brands, according to the investor presentation, and the average order value was $863 last year, up 11% year over year in Q1. The retailer plans to capitalize on its brand authority to branch out into barbecue-adjacent products and accessories in the outdoor living space. Additionally, BBQGuys expanded from one distribution center last year to three this year and anticipates having five by the end of 2022, while also launching white-globe service soon.

Favorite

advertisement