Allbirds prices IPO above range, putting more points on the board for DTC startups

In the wake of somewhat slack earnings from the recently public Robinhood, you might have expected the public-offering game to slow a bit. Nothing of the sort.

Last night, consumer DTC shoe company Allbirds, backed by an ocean of private capital, priced its IPO at $15 per share, $1 above its expected range. The company also registered an extra million shares for its offering, adding to its heft and the general positive vibe of its upcoming IPO.

This brings us back to our ongoing conversation regarding the value of tech-enabled unicorns busy finding public-market liquidity.

Recall that when Rent the Runway priced its IPO, it was worth “just over 7x its July 31, 2021 run rate (quarter times four).” The fact that the company has since suffered sharp declines from $21 to roughly $16 per share post-debut is not material; we care about IPO prices, not post-listing moves.

Earlier, we noted that at $14 per share and the previously slightly lower share count, Allbirds would be worth just under 9x its current annual run rate on a fully diluted basis. At $15 per share, and with an extra million shares, Allbirds is worth mid-9x its current run rate, depending on how you count shares.

(It’s very early so please don’t get too hung up on modestly relaxed math!)

Allbirds’ IPO pricing, then, backs up our general view that tech-enabled unicorns going public can hope for an upper-single-digit revenue multiple provided they can make a good case to the larger pool of public-market investors.