London-headquartered online luxury and apparel retailer Farfetch has confirmed long-suspected plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange.
A New York Stock Exchange filing says the Farfetch IPO seeks to raise $100 million, although commentators suspect this is a “placeholder figure” likely to change closer to the date when it is confirmed, most likely late this year.
Founded by Portuguese shoe seller Jose Neves in 2007, Farfetch offers goods from 500 independent luxury boutiques along with curated offer from about 200 brands including Tag Heuer, Loewe and Nike. Such is its global reach, the company is now estimated to be worth in excess of US$1 billion – and it claims to have 1 billion customers in the 190 countries to which its ships.
However, like many e-commerce and tech companies, despite ongoing growth – 59 per cent last year to sales of $386 million – Farfetch has yet to record a profit, as it continually invested in entering new markets. In the first half of this year it lost $68 million, more than double the $29 million of the same period last year.
According to preliminary information from the Farfetch IPO plan, the company’s cornerstone shareholder, Chinese online giant JD will maintain its share post-float.
Founder Neves said in an interview late last year that he believed Farfetch is the only global luxury platform with scale.
“What makes us different is that everyone else is operating on a retail model, but we are a platform, not a shop, an enabler not a competitor, and [we] are reaping all the advantages that such a position entails.”