While it’s unknown when the company will go public, this move marks the official beginning of the process ahead of the S-1 filing, in which Stitch Fix will formally disclose its financials. Startups are allowed to file confidentially for IPOs under the JOBS act, allowing them to test the waters prior to formally releasing their company’s inner workings.
Tech Crunch reports that a handful of companies are planning to go public between Labor Day and Thanksgiving, but since Stitch Fix only recently hired its CFO, Paul Yee, in June, it’s possible that it will push an IPO back a bit. A representative from Stitch Fix declined to comment.
Founded in 2011 by CEO Katrina Lake, Stitch Fix gathers information about your personal style and delivers clothes to your door, allowing you to pick what to buy and what to return. The last round of funding raised was in June 2014, with a post-valuation of $309.31 million.
A major challenge for Stitch Fix is predicting revenue. Some subscription businesses, like Blue Apron, have struggled with customer retention. And consumer IPOs have not done so well in public markets: While Snap debuted big, shares continue to hit record lows, and Blue Apron saw a sharp decline following Amazon’s upcoming entry into meal kit delivery.
Stitch Fix is also facing competition from Amazon, which recently launched Prime Wardrobe. And the market is already crowded, with subscription style sites, including Le Tote, Rent the Runway, Dia & Co. and more.
Stitch Fix’s filing will be able to tell if users are purchasing enough items to offset the customer acquisition costs. Its next steps will be to publicly release the information, and 15 days later begin the “road show,” when it will pitch the company to investors ahead of its public debut.