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E-commerce marketplace Wish may soon open the doors to public shareholders. But a high degree of industry competition and a multitude of other tech-focused IPOs may affect the success of its launch.
Wish has confidentially filed a draft registration with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This doesn’t constitute an official IPO — at least not yet. But it sounds like the company is ready to go public.
No news yet on the potential stock price or launch date, so stay tuned for upcoming information about how many shares will be available and at what price. Once the IPO goes public, you’ll need a brokerage account to invest.
According to Reuters, the company’s most recent valuation sat at $11.6 billion — but this was back in August 2019, following its Series H funding round led by General Atlantic. To date, Wish has raised $1.8 billion from private investors, including Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund and GGV Capital.
Without a public listing, it’s tough to gauge Wish’s balance sheet. Investors will need to wait for the official release of the company’s public listing to get a better idea of its financial health.
It’s no secret that e-commerce is doing well. Thanks to the recent migration of brick-and-mortar stores to e-commerce platforms, online marketplaces like Amazon, Etsy and Wayfair have recorded a significant uptick in sales. Will it last? It’s hard to say, but Wish isn’t the only e-commerce platform with its eye on an IPO.
Wish plans to enter the market amid a slew of other tech-focused stock launches, including BigCommerce, Asana, Palantir, Airbnb and DoorDash. This influx of IPOs is a good indication of how the tech market tends to operate: It’s a highly competitive space filled with young, growth-oriented companies. And this type of competition can be dangerous.
While there’s room for growth, there’s also room for failure. In fact, it’s not unheard of for companies in this sector to fold overnight.
Wish is an e-commerce platform founded in 2010 and headquartered in San Francisco. More than 3 million products are purchased on Wish daily, and the online marketplace is host to over 1 million registered merchants. The platform specializes in low-cost consumer goods, including clothing, electronics, fashion jewelry and other novelty items.
Wish is not an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), from which it receives an F rating for its collection of 3,200 complaints and for standing in violation of the BBB’s Code of Advertising, a set of nondeceptive advertising guidelines.
Here’s how competing e-commerce marketplaces fared after going public.
eBay (EBAY) is an e-commerce corporation headquartered in San Jose, California. It went public on the NASDAQ in 1998, trading at $0.79. It performed moderately well over the following decade. But it wasn’t until 2009 that the stock began to truly gain traction. The stock saw an all-time high of $59.27 in July 2020 and now trades at $53.68.
Etsy (ETSY) is an e-commerce platform that acts as a marketplace for vendors of handmade wares. It started trading on the NASDAQ in 2015 at $27.58. The stock didn’t start to climb until early 2018, rising to an impressive peak of $135.06 in August 2020. It now trades at $123.82.
Overstock (OSTK) is an Internet retailer that specializes in furniture and home goods. It launched its stock on the NASDAQ in 1999, trading at $0.25. The stock saw minimal growth until early 2002, when it began to rise. The stock has seen its fair share of ups and downs, with two notable peaks in 2004 and 2018. It saw an all-time high of $121.09 in August 2020 and now trades at $88.57.
Wayfair (W) is a home-goods retailer headquartered in Boston. It went public on the NYSE in 2014, trading at $32.18. The stock saw moderate growth for several years before it began to pick up in 2017. TThe stock hit rock bottom at $27.24 in March 2020 but rebounded to an all-time high of $340.66 just five months later. It now trades at $307.16.
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