Allbirds, the producer of wool sneakers, provided a long-awaited glimpse into company earnings when its initial public offering paperwork was made public on Tuesday, suggesting robust digital sales in 2020 despite an annual loss.
According to the filing, the company, which was valued at roughly $1.7 billion in 2020, took in about $219 million in revenue last year, with nearly 90 percent of that coming from digital sales. However, the company, which filed for an I.P.O. confidentially this summer, has been losing money for the previous two years and intends to continue losing money.
Allbirds, which was formed in 2015 and is based in San Francisco, is frequently likened to other venture-backed consumer brands such as Warby Parker and Glossier, which created cult followings around one or a few products sold online before expanding into physical retail. They are frequently cited as instances of a new sort of retail business in the age of e-commerce.
Allbirds has lately expanded their product line beyond casual shoes to include performance running shoes and gear.
Despite its meager sales in comparison to athletic gear behemoths, the company has lofty goals. It expects to grow quickly by opening hundreds of additional stores and appealing to a new generation of consumers who are concerned about climate change and are changing their purchasing patterns as a result.
Allbirds claimed in its filing that a pair of their shoes had a carbon footprint that was around 30% less than its estimated carbon footprint for a conventional pair of sneakers, citing its use of renewable, natural materials and production process.
It is accelerating its growth through retailing strategies. Despite the disruption caused by the pandemic, the company stated that it has “just touched the surface of our retail potential” with 27 sites as of June 30.
Allbirds’ wool shoes became a hit after being seen on the feet of Silicon Valley heavyweights such as Larry Page, co-founder of Google, and venture capitalists such as Mary Meeker. Tim Brown, a former New Zealand soccer star, and Joey Zwillinger, a former clean-tech entrepreneur, launched the company. Mr. Brown obtained funding from New Zealand’s wool industry and launched a Kickstarter campaign to create wool shoes.
The company is a B Corp, a designation granted by a nonprofit organization known as the B Lab to businesses that commit to upholding high social and environmental standards. Ben & Jerry’s and Patagonia are two other well-known B Corporations.
According to the petition, Allbirds intends to complete the first “Sustainable Public Equity Offering,” or SPO, which “is a representation of our confidence and commitment that our environmental credentials do not contradict with spectacular financial outcomes.”