Bloomberg News

Wayfair Files for U.S. IPO of Home Goods Shopping Site

August 15, 2014

Wayfair Inc., an online retailer of home furnishings, filed for a $350 million initial public offering.

The Boston-based company filed for an IPO without specifying the number or price range of shares it will sell, according to the prospectus. The Web retailer said in the filing that its revenue jumped 50 percent to $574.1 million in the six months ended June 30 from $383.2 million in the same period a year ago. Net loss widened to $63.2 million from $24.3 million over the same period, according to the filing.

Wayfair, which has brands including Joss & Main and Birch Lane, is the latest e-commerce company to file to go public as consumers increasingly shift their shopping online. China’s largest e-commerce provider, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (BABA:US), is weighing a plan to start marketing its share sale to investors on Sept. 3, people familiar with the matter have said, in what is set to be the largest IPO in U.S. history. Online retailer Zulily Inc. (ZU:US) also went public last year and its shares have since risen more than 60 percent.

Wayfair, which bills itself as a one-stop shop for furniture and decor, said in the filing that its main customers are typically women aged 35 to 65. Repeat customers were 51 percent of orders delivered in the six months ended June 30 from a year ago, and mobile orders are 28 percent of its business, Wayfair said.

In 2013, the company had 2.1 million active customers, up from 1.3 million in 2012, according to the prospectus.

Wayfair named Amazon.com Inc., Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. and Pottery Barn Inc. as competitors in the prospectus.

Niche Websites

The company was founded in 2002 by Niraj Shah and Steven Conine and was initially run as a series of niche websites, including allbarstools.com and bedroomfurniture.com. In 2011, the company consolidated the sites into Wayfair.com. Shah, 40, is chief executive officer, while Conine, 41, is chief technology officer.

Wayfair hired former Warner Music Group Vice Chairman Michael Fleisher, 49, as its new chief financial officer in October. Fleisher was part of the team that took Warner Music public in 2005.

The company last raised financing in March, when it garnered $157 million from an investor group led by T. Rowe Price Group Inc. The funding gave the company a valuation of $2 billion, a person familiar with the situation said at the time. Previous investors include Battery Ventures, Great Hill Partners and HarbourVest Partners.

According to the prospectus, Shah and Conine each own 29 percent of Wayfair. Great Hill Partners has a 11.4 percent stake, Battery Ventures owns 6.2 percent and HarbourVest Partners has 7 percent.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc. are managing Wayfair’s offering.

To contact the reporter on this story: Pui-Wing Tam in San Francisco at ptam13@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Pui-Wing Tam at ptam13@bloomberg.net Reed Stevenson


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Companies Mentioned

  • BABA
    (Alibaba Group Holding Ltd)
    • $89.89 USD
    • -4.00
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  • ZU
    (zulily Inc)
    • $36.76 USD
    • -0.56
    • -1.52%
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