Farfetch Plans For IPO


After nearly a decade in business, U.K. based retailer Farfetch has announced it is ready to go public.

An F-1 form filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revealed that the company plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker FTCH.

There is no word on how much the retailer — which connects nearly 900 boutiques and luxury brands to 2 million affluent and luxury-enthused consumers — plans to raise, but it placed a $100 million marker in the filing. Of course, that could change. CNBC reported that the IPO would value the company at around $6 billion.

Farfetch has hired bankers from JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs to lead the IPO.

In anticipation of going public, Farfetch announced in March that it was partnering with high-end department store Harvey Nichols, which is the latest in a series of luxury consumer brands that already include Burberry and Chanel.

Farfetch was founded by Portuguese fashion entrepreneur José Neves in 2008 with the goal of creating an online marketplace for luxury boutiques and brands.

“We want to become the global platform for luxury,” said Neves. “Department stores are very good at brand awareness and contact with their local customers … Farfetch offers access to customers in China, Japan and Korea, as well as emerging markets like Russia and Latin America.”

The average age of Farfetch’s luxury shopper is 36 — somewhat younger than usual, which explains why brands like Harvey Nichols were enthusiastic to sign on.

Its F1 form revealed that, as of December 31, 2017, Farfetch had nearly 1 million active consumers, making it the world’s largest marketplace for luxury goods (according to the company). Revenue for 2017 was $386 million, a 59.4 percent increase over 2016, and its operating profit was $136.9 million for the first six months of 2018, compared to $94.4 million in 2017.

“Farfetch is the leading technology platform for the global luxury fashion industry,” the company wrote in the prospectus. “We operate the only truly global luxury digital marketplace at scale, seamlessly connecting brands, retailers and consumers. We are redefining how fashion is bought and sold through technology, data and innovation. We were founded ten years ago, and through significant investments in technology, infrastructure, people and relationships, we have become a trusted partner to luxury brands and retailers alike.”