November 4, 2016

Fashion Startup Farfetch Said to Plan IPO as Soon as Next Year

Fashion Startup Farfetch Said to Plan IPO as Soon as Next Year

Bloomberg – By Ruth David and Matthew Campbell

  • Farfetch could appoint advisers on the sale in coming months
  • London firm valued at almost $1.5 billion in last fundraising

Luxury fashion startup Farfetch is meeting advisers about an initial public offering in New York as early as the end of next year, according to people familiar with the matter.

Farfetch will appoint advisers in the coming months, the people said, asking not to be named as the details aren’t public. No final decisions have been made, and the company may also hold off on listing until 2018, they said. Farfetch was valued at almost $1.5 billion in its last funding round earlier this year, a person familiar with the matter said at the time.

The IPO timeline is intended to coincide with Farfetch’s plan to become profitable by late 2017, one of the people said. The company acts as an online marketplace for luxury boutiques, letting smaller retailers connect with more customers and ship designer and hard-to-find fashion worldwide. Customers can browse shops in Saudi Arabia, Poland and Luxembourg for hot-pink Alexander McQueen kimono coats and Yeezy military-style boots.

A representative for Farfetch didn’t immediately respond to a call and e-mail seeking comment.

The London-based startup may also consider listing in its home market, the people said. IPO volumes in both the U.K. and U.S. halved this year amid investor concerns about the effects of Brexit and the U.S. elections. Still, companies in the U.S. raised more than $18 billion from the sales in 2016, more than double the $6.8 billion their British counterparts sold, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Farfetch, founded by former shoe designer Jose Neves, raised $110 million from investors in May, including Singapore sovereign-wealth fund Temasek Holdings Pte and Chinese venture firm IDG Capital Partners.