Here are some significant IPO’s which are going to impact the industries they are in. Click on the
brands in bold to see their profile in ALF:
The footwear brand, known for its wool sneakers, is in the process of hiring someone to manage regulatory and other financial filings, a move that is typically a precursor to an initial public offering. Allbirds raised $100 million in a series E funding round last September and aims to boost its number of physical stores by 50% in 2021, to 36 globally.
Now, the brand is planning to launch its first products made from a more sustainably farmed fibre within the next year, and will work with existing suppliers to meet its goal to shift sourcing entirely by the middle of the decade as emissions reduction is a key goal.
Co-founder & CEO Tim Brown said he wanted to try and attract some sneakerhead consumers in a similar way Nike does, and is poised to compete with them. He added: “I’ve tried to make us the opposite of Nike almost.” “The initial idea of Allbirds was all about the reduction of the shoe down to its simplest form, which is the opposite of the streetwear model, with small changes and a million different models. So we want to compete, and we want to grow, but we want to do it in a completely different way [by opening retail stores and broadening the audience].”
With Allbirds’ approach, customers are encouraged to buy a single pair of shoes and wear it for years, therefore a higher level of rapid customer acquisition and audience growth compared to Nike.
Since it raised the $100 million, the company’s advertising spend has increased to over £500,000 in ALF’s last two recorded quarters, across TV and digital. Whereas Nike’s and Adidas’ footwear advertising has dropped to their lowest levels, as soon as the IPO goes through, Allbirds’ advertising spend is highly likely to increase, especially since it has just appointed Lee Price as Director of Campaigns and Storytelling. Price's brief is to drive broader talkability and awareness among the general public through marketing campaigns and activation, focusing on engaging Allbirds' consumers in the US, Europe and Asia, particularly around the topics of sustainability and carbon.
The original pioneer of alternative protein and leading global meat-free brand is reportedly set to raise up to $1.5 billion from its IPO to help increase capacity and expand into USA and Asia.
As part of the company’s mission to ‘help the planet one bite at a time’, Quorn is putting food tech companies to the task by asking them to focus on developing a plant-based product which provides the same qualities as whole cuts, delivering a similar gastronomic experience.
Quorn Foods’ senior vice-president of R&D said: “The world needs to eat less meat and making it easy for people to switch from animal protein to other sources such as Quorn is critical. It’s therefore important that the alternative protein industry replicates as many types of meat as possible, and the poultry whole muscle – a very popular source of protein – is one that we don’t believe has been successfully replicated yet. Producing something realistic, that is also nutritious and sustainable, makes the task even more challenging”.
The company’s latest additions to its product line have been its vegan fishless scampi which launched last month and its dinosaur shaped nuggets, branching out into the children’s market in response to a gap identified as part of some research conducted by Kantar that revealed that more than half of 7-15-year-olds ate nuggets every fortnight.
With budgets that run into the millions, Quorn spends more on advertising than its closest rivals Vivera and The Meatless Farm whose advertising spend has always been under a million in any given quarter. However Vivera, Europe’s third largest plant-based food producer, has just been acquired by JBS, the second largest global food company, in a deal worth around €341 million. Vivera’s CEO, Willem van Weede, said: “Joining forces with JBS gives us access to significant resources and capabilities to accelerate our current strong growth trajectory and Vivera’s brand expansion,”. He also said in a previous interview that he wanted to triple turnover by 2025. In recent years, the Dutch company has consistently grown by 25 to 30%.
The Meatless Farm plans to launch 10 new products this year with the first two, sausage patties and sausage rolls, launched this month. Meatless Farm’s Chief Growth Officer, Michael Hunter, explained: “We see breakfast and savoury pastry as two of the biggest opportunities, and innovation is one of the core ways we can continue to grow the category.”
As the competition heats up in the sector, Quorn will no doubt be looking to use the funds raised from its IPO to scale up production, further innovate and convert more consumers to its plant-based products.
The Sweden based company has filed for an IPO in the US and says it may consider adding a listing in Hong Kong over the next two years. Oatly posted a net loss of $60 million in 2020 on sales up by 106.5% to $421.4 million. This loss shows the company’s continued investment in increasing production and aggressively expanding into new markets.
Oatly announced it is building one of the world’s biggest vegan dairy factories in the United Kingdom. Ishin Baran, the company’s UK CEO, said: “The UK is a really important driver of the global plant-based movement, with growing demand for Oatly across the country, and we’re excited to supply this increased demand.”. The company has partnered with Yeo’s in a $30 million partnership to produce plant-based milk in Asia and is looking to the region as the world’s largest and fastest-growing market for dairy alternatives.
While there are plenty of players in the plant-based arena, Oatly are the market leaders in the category and oat milk accounts for the vast majority of its sales. However, the market leaders have some serious competition now as Coca-Cola has just unveiled its own line of oat milk, growing its portfolio of plant-based dairy alternatives.
British online car retailer Cazoo will make its stock market debut in New York rather than London through a special-purpose acquisition company after agreeing a deal that values the company at $5bn.
The float is expected to provide Cazoo with up to $1.6 billion in funding to fuel its growth, expand its operations across Europe and launch a new subscription service. However, the business does not expect to be profitable until 2024 on the basis of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, according to an investor presentation. Operating losses were £88 million last year. “We are investing in growth. We have a very clear path to profitability over time,” said Alex Chesterman, Founder & CEO.
The used car platform looks to be on an aggressive acquisition spree, acquiring Smart Fleet Solutions and then German car subscription company Cluno, which will help Cazoo launch its full proposition in Germany and across Europe, giving customers the option to subscribe to its platform, and purchase and finance thousands of cars.
Cazoo and competitor Cinch have caused a lot of disruption within the market as the shift from traditional showroom-based car sales to a wholly online retail solution has cut dealers cost-per-sale by over 40%, saving the sector over £950 million a year. 64% of British drivers would now consider buying a car online, and brands like Volvo are cutting out dealerships in negotiating prices and seek to forge direct relationships with customers.
Cazoo started spending on adverting only last year and is ranked 62 in the list of leading advertisers, spending £31 million across TV, outdoor, radio, press and digital. Half of that budget was allocated to TV, 10% to radio and £11 million to outdoor. It has also signed a multi/year agreement to become an official partner of the EFL and the headline sponsor of Epsom’s Derby festival.
Its big ambitions mean this is a company to keep an eye on as it will look to invest more in advertising to battle head-to-head with Cinch which is in talks to raise £500 million of funding from a syndicate of blue-chip institutions to fund expansion.
Parsley Box, the direct-to-consumer provider of ready meals, was valued at £84 million when it floated on the stock market last month. CEO Kevin Dorren said: “The IPO is a significant milestone for the business, and I see it as firing the starting gun on our next phase of growth. I am looking forward to leading the business through this exciting new chapter.”
Parsley Box plans to use the new capital to accelerate its growth by upping marketing spend in an attempt to become a household name.
The business has grown rapidly since Gordon and Adrienne MacAulay founded the company in 2017. Revenues have tripled over the past three years to £24.4 million in 2020, with 900,000 products delivered per month to a 154,000-strong active customer base.
The most pressing issue for the firm is to manage its growing consumer base without compromising on the quality of its produce or speed of delivery. Parsley Box may be on the hunt for an agency to manage its CRM as well as its creative and media strategy, as it currently doesn’t work with one. Last year, its advertising budget shot up to £10 million across TV, press and direct mail.
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