Home furniture retailer Article, one of Canada’s most successful e-commerce merchants, is preparing to go public in the new year in what would be a rare U.S.-only listing by a domestic technology company.
The Vancouver company, legally known as TradeMango Solutions Inc., has engaged underwriters JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs and BMO Capital Markets to explore listing on the Nasdaq Stock Market, two sources familiar with the situation said. The company is considering launching the initial public offering process as early as January, depending on the state of markets, which have been choppy in recent weeks.
If it does proceed, Article would be the latest in a string of well-known North American online merchants to go public recently, including Allbirds Inc. and Warby Parker Inc. Article’s current plan is to raise about US$200-million, mostly as a secondary offering in which existing investors and option holders – it has more than 1,100 employees – would sell parts of their stakes, the sources said. Article would issue little or no equity itself as part of the offering; it is profitable and doesn’t need to raise any cash.
Article still has not completed an informal pre-IPO process of meeting prospective investors known as “testing the waters” and is also looking to expand its board, now composed of three of its co-founders, before formally kicking off the IPO process. The Globe and Mail is withholding the identities of the sources as they are not authorized to speak on Article’s plans.
Article spokesman Jordan Bantista said in an e-mail, “We have no comment at this time.” Fraser Hall, whose Vancouver venture capital firm Rhino Ventures has also invested in Article, also declined to comment when reached by phone.
Article chief executive officer Aamir Baig shed some light on the company’s thoughts about going public during an interview with The Globe in September, 2020. “Going public is a consideration that gets thrown around in our circles,” he said then, adding: “The only primary driver [of an IPO] will not be raising capital to finance our strategic road map, it’s purely to create a liquidity platform for our shareholders and stock option holders.”
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Article is one of Canada’s largest pure-play e-commerce merchants, with annual revenue running at about US$500-million. It was founded in 2011 by four engineers: Mr. Baig, …….