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Allbirds files for "sustainable" IPO in New York

Lauretta Roberts
01 September 2021

Ethical footwear and apparel brand Allbirds has filed for an IPO in New York to capitalise on investor interest in sustainable business.

The brand, which specialises in sustainable shoes made from wool and which recently branched into the activewear space, intends to pioneer a form of "sustainable public equity offering", which would demonstrate that it meets certain environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria.

Sustainability ratings firm ISS ESG has assessed the business to ensure it met the criteria for sustainable IPO and the company said it hoped to "lay the groundwork" for others to follow suit.

San Francisco-based Allbirds was founded six years ago by Joseph Zwillinger and Timothy Brown and last September it announced it had raised $100m in a funding round led by asset management firm Franklin Templeton, T. Rowe Price (a major investor in ASOS and Boohoo), Baillie Gifford, TDM Growth Partners, Rockefeller Capital Management, as well as additional new and returning investors. Hollywood star Leonardo di Caprio is also an investor.

At the time the company said it would use the investment to expands its bricks and mortar presence (in the UK it has stores in Covent Garden and Marylebone) and to extend its product line. Last month it unveiled its first performance apparel collection, called Natural Run Apparel.

Last year the business, which now sells to 35 countries across the globe, achieved sales of $220 million. Sales in the first half of this year reached nearly $118 million, however the business remains loss-making with net losses widening to $21.1 million during the six-month period.

It will launch on New York's NASDAQ exchange, which is popular with start-ups and tech firms, under the ticker BIRD.

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