The devil is in the details, so to speak. Sometimes the devil wears Prada – and sometimes, when all is said and done, the details are in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings.
The big news of the latest initial public offering (IPO) landed over the past few days? Farfetch, the online marketplace geared toward luxury goods, has filed to go public at a valuation of as much as $6 billion.
The stage may be set for heady growth, as the company operates with a model that brings sellers and buyers together, and notably does not hold much inventory risk of its own. The shift, in some respects, is one where high-end shops — think Rome, Paris and the like — need not be confined to brick-and-mortar or local markets. The foot traffic may find an online adjunct in clicks and eCommerce.
The firm operates across bits and bytes aided by digital and data, yet Farfetch even operates across some operations with brick-and-mortar.
The F-1 form filed with the SEC shows a few bold statements from the company: “Farfetch is the leading technology platform for the global luxury fashion industry. 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.”
Later in the filing, the company said, “We are a technology company at our core.”
Tranches — technology, data and innovation — are being deployed by Farfetch on a global stage that has a number of zeros attached to it. As one might guess, the growth rates are pretty heady, too. Online sales, as a percentage of luxury sales, are heating up, growing to a double-digit percentage of the pie through the next several years. Along the way, Farfetch is serving the younger generations — and the average ticket size may raise one’s eyebrows.