Revolve set to launch New York IPO
Cerritos, California-based influencer-driven e-tailer Revolve Retail Group, Inc. made a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Friday, detailing plans to launch an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange next summer.
Revolve hopes to raise up to $100 million when it goes public but the number of shares that will be made available and pricing terms are yet to be revealed.
The extensive SEC filing made by the group also gave a rare glimpse of its financial results, with the company’s net sales for 2017 being reported as $399.6 million, while net income came to $5 million.
For fiscal 2018, the company reported net sales of $245.1 million for the first half of the year alone, as well as $15.8 million in income. This combined with the group’s recent expansion to Europe would seem to suggest that Revolve is onto something with its pioneering focus on influencer marketing.
Indeed, the group, which was founded by Michael Karanikolas and Michael Mente in 2003, was also keen to point out the strengths of this system in Friday’s SEC filing, claiming to have built a “community of over 2,500 influencers and brand partners, including many of the most influential social media celebrities in the world, whom we track and manage using our proprietary internal technology platform.”
However, as highlighted by The Fashion Law, this reliance on influencers could prove problematic as Revolve moves forward with its IPO, as the company has hitherto failed to enforce adherence to the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) guidelines concerning the disclosure of sponsorship in social media posts among its influencer army.
The FTC stipulates that sponsored posts should be identified in a way that is “clear and conspicuous,” suggesting the use of hashtags such as #Ad or #Sponsored, and has been cracking down on infringements of this mandatory requirement over the last few months.
Revolve Retail Group currently operates two e-commerce platforms, Revolve.com and Fwrd.com, and owns a portfolio of 19 brands through Alliance Apparel, Inc., which it acquired in 2014.
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