A woman walks past an Allbirds store in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC on Tuesday, February 16, 2021.
Al Drago | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Shoe maker Allbirds hopes to attract investors who prefer companies that have an emphasis on sustainability in their IPO.
Known for its eco-friendly wool sneakers and slip-ons, the company is expected to trade on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange on Wednesday under the symbol “BIRD”.
“We raised a lot more capital because people saw the real and authentic leadership we bring to ESG,” said Co-Founder and Co-CEO Joey Zwillinger in an interview on CNBC’s Squawk Box. “I think why the demand was so great … Investors were really drawn to the opportunity to use their capital on great opportunities to get results that are better for the planet.”
On Tuesday, Allbirds announced that it raised more than $ 300 million after setting the top end of its initial public offering. It cost 20.2 million shares at $ 15 each after selling 19.2 million shares between $ 12 and $ 14.
The listing follows the public debut of eyewear maker Warby Parker, the IPO of outdoor retailer Solo Brands and that of fashion rental platform Rent the Runway. It adds to the wave of trendy, venture capital-backed retailers testing investor appetites on Wall Street.
When asked what a comparable exhibition would be for Allbirds’ business, Zwillinger said it was a mix of traditional retailers with lots of stores and internet-savvy brands. Allbirds only counted 27 stationary locations this summer, but plans to increase that number by hundreds.
“It’s difficult. My business is making amazing shoes, selling them to customers, and creating great experiences,” he said. “We leave the financial part to the investors.”
Allbirds hopes to benefit from increasing demand, especially among younger buyers, for products that are convenient and also sustainable. The company recently launched a line of activewear that extends its product range beyond popular wool sneakers. It also sells socks and other accessories.
But the company has yet to make a profit, which could worry potential investors.
Allbirds’ net loss was $ 14.5 million in 2019 and rose to $ 25.9 million in 2020, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
And it expects a net loss of between $ 15 million and $ 18 million for the three months ended September 30, compared to a loss of $ 7 million last year.
“Even before the pandemic, we were very close to breakeven and on the way to breakeven,” said Zwillinger. “So that’s something in our field of vision and we see a very clear and short-term path, otherwise we wouldn’t go public.”
Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan and BofA Securities are the lead underwriters for the Allbirds offering.
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