Shein has seen big swings in its price tag over the last year. The Singapore-headquartered fast fashion platform is targeting a valuation of up to $90 billion in a potential U.S. initial public offering, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.
TechCrunch has reached out to Shein for comment. An investor briefed on the matter told us that there’s still no timeline for Shein’s IPO plans.
That price tag is up from the $64 billion valuation it was given in a funding round early this year. But the online fashion upstart, which has disrupted an industry that had been dominated by the likes of Zara and H&M, attained an even higher valuation of $100 billion in April 2022.
Founded in China over a decade ago, Shein has pioneered the use of data analytics to predict customer demand and produce small batches of clothing to keep inventory costs low. While receiving recognition for its innovation in its light-asset e-commerce model, it faces growing challenges around copyright infringement lawsuits, criticisms from environmentalists and competition from Temu, an up-and-coming online bazaar run by China’s PDD.
The controversy surrounding Shein’s supply chain practices will likely hinder its pursuit of a smooth IPO in the U.S. In 2021, the U.S. passed a bill that bars the import of goods from Xinjiang where U.S. officials say China abuses Uyghurs, unless importers can otherwise prove no forced labor is involved. Shein has faced allegations of sourcing cotton from Xinjiang, though the company has repetitively denied it has suppliers in the province.
Backed by HongShan, formerly Sequoia Capital China, Shein has long started preparing to position itself as more of a global than Chinese business. Early last year, it was redomiciled to Singapore. Over the next few months, the company went on a hiring spree to snatch up international executives, including former SoftBank executive Marcelo Claure, Temasek veteran Leonard Lin and Disney veteran Adam Whinston.