Want publishes its submitting to go public, displaying gradual progress and regular losses
The e-commerce marketplace Wish filed its IPO prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, joining a number of tech companies looking to debut before year-end.
Wish's parent company, ContextLogic, plans to list its shares on the Nasdaq under the symbol WISH. The filing provides the first glimpse into Wish's financials after the company confidential filed for an IPO in August.
Founded in 2010, Wish is an online marketplace with a variety of discounted goods, from cheap homeware and clothing to electronics and toys. Compared to Amazon, Wish is aimed at shoppers of "any socioeconomic status" who may not be able to afford Prime $ 119 a year.
"We designed Wish to serve those consumers who prefer affordability over branding and convenience, and who are underserved by the traditional e-commerce platform," the file said.
In general, the company shows moderate growth without exploding losses. Wish reported sales of $ 1.75 billion for the nine months ended September 30. This corresponds to a growth rate of 32% compared to $ 1.33 billion in the same period last year. However, between 2018 and 2019, sales only increased 10%.
Wish is growing more slowly than retail and e-commerce giants like Amazon, Target, and Walmart from a much smaller base. In the third quarter, Amazon saw revenue grow 38% year over year from 38% to $ 48.4 billion, while third-party revenue grew 55% to $ 20.4 billion. Target and Walmart, both of which have seen strong rebound from pandemic-induced online shopping, saw digital sales jump 155% and 79% year over year in the third quarter, respectively.
While growth has been rather weak for a start-up, its bottom line has been pretty stable – it lost $ 247 million in 2017, $ 208 million in 2018, and $ 136 million last year. It lost $ 176 million in the first nine months of 2020.
Wish said it now has more than 100 million monthly active users in over 100 countries, compared to its previously reported total of 70 million monthly active users. More than 500,000 merchants are registered for sale on the platform and the catalog has expanded to 150 million items, Wish said in the filing. Most of the merchants are based in China, but more U.S. sellers were added to their platform in 2019.
The request goes public at a time when e-commerce has gotten a shot in the arm from the coronavirus pandemic. Like many retailers, Wish reported seeing longer delivery times, supply chain disruptions, and the loss of some retailers on its platform at the height of the pandemic. However, the company also benefited from increased mobile usage and less competition from brick-and-mortar retail due to lockdowns.
Airbnb, DoorDash, Roblox and online lender Affirm also filed for an IPO last week to capitalize on the post-election rally in US stocks and investor demand for high-growth tech names. The companies are trying to get to market between Thanksgiving and Christmas, people familiar with their plans told CNBC last week.
– CNBC's Ari Levy contributed to this report.