Rent the Runway IPO Filing Shows Little Pandemic Recovery
(Bloomberg) -- Rent the Runway Inc. filed for an initial public offering, as it bets on the return of weddings and parties to help drum up business for its special-occasion and workplace clothing.
The fashion-rental company in a filing Monday listed the size of the offering as $100 million, a placeholder that will change when the share sale’s terms are set.
Rent the Runway struggled early in the pandemic and saw its valuation dip to $750 million, after earlier being valued at $1 billion, while it had to cut staff and close of some retail stores.
Monday’s filing, which confirmed earlier Bloomberg News reports, reveals little recovery since the pandemic gave people fewer excuses to dress up.
Rent the Runway reported a net loss of $85 million on $80 million in revenue in the six months ended July this year. That compared to a $88 million loss on $88.5 million in revenue the same period a year ago.
While its losses persisted this year, there were some bright spots. It saw an uptick in subscribers over the first six months of year. In the second quarter, its losses narrowed slightly to $42.2 million and its revenue rose 62% to $46.7 million compared to a year ago.
The startup also listed the Covid-19 pandemic as a risk factor. “The global macroeconomic effects of the pandemic may persist for an indefinite period of time, even after the pandemic has subsided,” the filing said.
Rent the Runway is the latest in a wave of consumer businesses expected to continue testing the public markets in the coming months. Allbirds Inc. also updated its listing documents on Monday and is expected to go public this year.
Democratized high-end fashion
Started in 2009 by Jennifer Hyman and Jenny Fleiss as a way for women to rent dresses for special events, Rent the Runway has expanded to everyday wear through subscriptions. The company said in May that actress and lifestyle expert Gywneth Paltrow had joined its board.
“Prior to Rent the Runway, wearing beautiful designer fashion wasn’t a realistic option for most people,” Rent the Runway co-founder Hyman wrote in a letter to prospective investors. “We have democratized high-end fashion for women everywhere.”
Its investors include a fund affiliated with Ares Management Corp., Bain Capital Ventures, Highland Capital and Technology Cross Ventures, the filing showed.
The offering is being led by Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley and Barclays Plc. The shares are expected to trade on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol RENT.
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