Allbirds, Silicon Valley’s favorite shoe company, has filed for an IPO

Allbirds, the sustainable shoemaker, filed for an IPO, calling it the 1st sustainable public equity offering.

Allbirds — maker of the official sneaker of Silicon Valley — has filed for an IPO, describing the event as the “first sustainable public equity offering.”

The company preemptively tapered expectations, claiming that, as a public benefit corporation, not all decisions it makes will maximize shareholder value.

Yet its sustainability focus hasn’t hindered growth

According to the numbers, Allbirds is firing on all cylinders:

  • Revenue: From $194m in 2019 to $219m in 2020
  • Stores: From 1 location in 2017 to 30 as of last month
  • Product: From strictly footwear to apparel, including casual, performance, and outdoor styles

Unfortunately, losses are growing as well

The company has posted a net loss each of the last 3 years and in the 1st half of 2021, and doesn’t expect the trend to end soon.

This is a common thread among D2C leaders:

  • Warby Parker (which filed for an IPO last week) reported a net loss of ~$56m in 2020
  • Casper (already public) posted a net loss of $89m for 2020

Both Warby Parker and Casper have expanded their physical footprint, a track Allbirds will likely follow.

It’s also unclear if Allbirds is truly sustainable…

… or just more sustainable than its competitors.

  • Allbirds says its supply chain has been carbon neutral since 2019 and its sneakers have 30% less carbon footprint than the average pair.
  • The company is also currently facing a class-action lawsuit for making misleading sustainability claims.

One way to silence the critics would be to go perfectly sustainable. According to 2PM’s Web Smith, that would mean having a circular supply chain and not making new products.

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