(Bloomberg)—Allbirds Inc. is moving ahead with an initial public offering as it expands beyond the wool trainers that have become the unofficial footwear of Silicon Valley.
The direct-to-consumer shoe brand listed the size of the offering as $100 million, a placeholder that will change when terms of the share sale are set. The company was seeking to be valued at $2 billion or more in a listing, Bloomberg News reported in June. Allbirds is No. 395 in the 2021 Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000.
In its filing Tuesday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Allbirds said its net revenue for the six months ended June 30 rose 26.7% year over year to $117.5 million from $92.8 million. In the same period, its net loss widened to $21.1 million from $9.5 million.
San Francisco-based Allbirds is following the playbook of other DTC brands that have broadened their audience by moving from digital marketing and ecommerce into brick-and-mortar and traditional advertising.
Its pitch to shoe-buyers emphasizes the sustainable, natural materials used in its footwear, including eucalyptus fiber, castor bean oil and crab shells as well as wool.
The shoemaker is a B-Corp, which means its board is legally bound to balance profit and purpose and publicly share an impact report on how it’s improving society or the environment.
It laid out in Tuesday’s prospectus 19 criteria under six categories of how to make an equity offering sustainable and pledged to follow them.
Some of the criteria include disclosing a review at IPO while other efforts have to be reported annually, such as work on establishing a human rights policy, commitment to employee diversity and requiring suppliers to address environmental issues.
Allbirds also said that investors’ ESG profiles contribute to the selection on which funds get allocated shares in the IPO process.
While sustainability has been trending in the equity capital markets, disclosing these requirements in a legally binding document adds legitimacy to these pledges.
That aside, the words “sustainable,” “sustainably” and “sustainability” appeared more than 200 times throughout the over 200-page document.
Online sales growth
In 2020, online sales at Allbirds made up 89% of revenue or $195.2 million, the company reported, with the other 11% coming from its retail stores. That’s a web sales growth of 21.2% from the previous year, compared with a 13.2% overall revenue increase to $219.3 million from $193.7 million last year.
Store sales shrank 24.2% in 2020 as a result of the shutdown, with stores closed at least 20% of days Allbirds expected them to be open and customer hesitancy at returning to stores persisting. At the end of June, there were 27 stores including, with international locations including Beijing and London.
However, prior to pandemic lockdowns, the store-based sales channel was profitable, and shoppers who shopped in stores generated more revenue than those shopping online and proved a more reliable stream thanks to repeat purchases. Stores also increased traffic to Allbirds’ website, with a 15% jump in traffic and 77% increase in sales in the Boston region after opening a store in the Back Bay area, when compared to a control market.
It’s not the only footwear maker trying to go public. On Holding AG, maker of the high-end On Running sport shoes brand backed by tennis star Roger Federer, also has filed for a U.S. IPO. The company is eyeing a $6 billion to $8 billion valuation, German language publication Bilanz reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.
Allbirds raised $100 million in a Series E round in September from large investment firms such as Franklin Templeton and T. Rowe Price.
The offering is being led by Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp. Allbirds plans for its shares to trade on the Nasdaq under the symbol BIRD.
Percentage changes may not align exactly with dollar figures due to rounding.Favorite