The stock price of Zulily, an online retailer of children’s and women’s apparel, increased 70% from its offering price of $22 to more than $37 per share during the first hours of its initial public offering (IPO) on Friday. The company is trading on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “ZU.”
Zulily succeeding in crowded market
Zulily’s chief executive officer, Darrell Cavens said. “This shows that an e-commerce company with a strong, specific focus can be a success. It’s a good sign for others.” According to the CEO, the company will use the proceeds from the offering to hire additional employees, and to focus on new markets such as tweens, children who have not yet reached their teenage years.
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Despite the strong competition in the e-commerce market, which is dominated by Amazon.com, Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) and eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY), Zullily’s business is growing at a fast rate. The company managed to succeed by selling the products of specialized vendors and offering short-term discounts called flash sales.
Based on its regulatory filing, Zulily’s revenue doubled during the first nine months of the year to $438.7 million. The company generated a profit of $155 million. The financial performance of the online retailer is better than Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWT) with $422.2 million sales and $133 million losses during the same period. The shares of the micro blogging site increased 73% during its debut.
IPO goal is $140 million
Zulily initially priced its IPO at $16 to $18 per share, but decided to raise the price in the range of $18 to $20 per share on Wednesday. The online retailer eventually decided to offer its shares at $22 per share. The company’s objective is to raise as much as $140 million from offering 11.5 million shares.
Some of the shareholders of Zulily including Maveron, the venture capital of Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) gained approximately $58 million from selling 2.63 million shares (based on $22 offering), which represents around 10% of its stake in the online retailer.
Zulily’s other investors, August Capital and Andreessen Horowitz each gained around $17.6 million after selling 800,000 shares.
Darrell Cavens and Mark Vadon co-founded Zulily. The company’s largest shareholder is Blue Nile with a 30.3% stake while Cavens owns a 20.9% stake.