The Download: It’s still hush-hush, but the collectible design e-commerce platform 1stDibs is looking to go public with an IPO sometime this year. With a rumored valuation of $1 billion, the 20-year-old company is one that early investors are eyeing. Ranging from Alibaba to Artemis, backers have pledged a collective $253 million in the past ten years, and as earlier investors, are itching to gain a hefty return.
Why It Matters: In 2020, all forms of e-commerce skyrocketed, not unlike the dotcom boom. Additionally, after it’s March plummet, the stock (or stonk) market returned with a vengeance while 1stDibs’ affluent buyer base enjoyed even deeper pockets. One thing is certain: the appetite for IPOs has bounced back, signaling the timing is right to buy.
In Their Own Words: “I spend all my time with designers, and what I hear over and over is that they have more demands than ever, but less time on their hands,” says Sarah Liebel, chief revenue officer of 1stDibs. “We fundamentally believe that designers are the only people who can sell and continue the growth and support of the high-end design industry.”
Surface Says: While this is all still in speculation, it’s possible that the IPO is only a prelude to a private sale. Insiders have speculated that 1stDibs has been vying for a mega-boring acquisition from the likes of eBay or Amazon. All things considered, what does it mean for the dealers who stock its digital shelves, and the designers who source from the site?