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Poshmark, an online marketplace for second-hand clothing, on Thursday filed for an initial public offering with U.S. regulators, hoping to ride a surge of interest in IPOs now that the company has become profitable.
Founded in 2011, Poshmark reported that revenue in the first nine months of 2020 rose 28% to $192.8 million. But perhaps more crucially as it looks to entice investors to buy its stock, the company had a $8 million profit after a sizable loss in the same period last year.
Earlier this fall, Poshmark rival ThredUp confidentially filed for an IPO. The RealReal, a competitor focused solely on the luxury market, went public in mid-2019, though its shares are below its IPO price, and the company is currently unprofitable.
All three are leaders in the so-called re-commerce market that has soared as younger shoppers develop a taste for vintage and second-hand items amid a backlash against the wastefulness of the apparel sector and a need to save on money in a tough economy.
A study earlier this year by independent research GlobalData, commissioned by ThredUp, found that the U.S. resale market would hit $36 billion by 2024, compared to $7 billion last year. The idea has caught on so much that some well established companies, including Levi Strauss, are jumping in with their own resale programs.
Poshmark recently launched features to bolster spending by its customers and increase how frequently they shop. Those include its “Just Picked” suggestions, that uses artificial intelligence to scan listings (there were 201 million items listed as of the end of its last quarter) and personalize suggestions to customers of they should buy. Also new is “Dropping Soon” that allows sellers to market their listings ahead of when they’ll be on sale in order to build buzz.
Poshmark had 31.7 million active users as of September, primarily young shoppers in the millennial and Gen Z generations.
“Three key trends are driving the future of retail: the shift to online, the shift to social, and the shift to secondhand. Many of these trends are led by younger generations who continue to grow their spending power as they age,” Poshmark said in its IPO filing.
It plans to list shares on Nasdaq under the ticker “POSH.”
The U.S. stock market has seen a record number of IPO filings this year, with investors looking to take advantage of a soaring stock market to cash in on their investments. Recent new stocks to have soared include those of DoorDash and Airbnb. But not all IPOs see a so-called “first-day pop.” The distinction for worst first-day performance goes to Wish, an online marketplace, whose shares plummeted 16% on their first day of trading this week.
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