This one is uncommon: Laird Superfood, a five-year-old, 100-person, Sisters, Ore.-based startup that was cofounded by famed surfer Laird Hamilton and which makes plant-based packaged beverage merchandise, filed as we speak to boost as much as $40 million in an IPO.
We’d reported on this firm early final yr largely as a result of it had attracted backing from WeWork, the co-working firm that famously made various bets that have been very afield from its enterprise (together with a maker of wave swimming pools) earlier than struggling a significant meltdown final fall.
In reality, in line with Crunchbase, WeWork Labs offered Laird Superfood with a whopping $32 million — the majority of the $51 million it has raised altogether, per Crunchbase. (WeWork founder Adam Neumann has stated that he surfed with Hamilton in Hawaii.)
At that point, WeWork’s funding was the strangest factor in regards to the enterprise, a largely direct-to-consumer enterprise that makes “superfood” espresso creamers, beverage dietary supplements that embody “efficiency mushrooms,” Peruvian espresso beans, and an assortment of different issues, like teas and sizzling chocolate.
This IPO could also be much more curious. Founded by Hamilton and one other surfer, Paul Hodge, the corporate could be very younger to be going public by as we speak’s requirements (biotech startups however). The firm booked $19 million in gross sales for the 12 months ended June 30, however it misplaced $9 million over that very same interval and on the charge it’s spending cash, together with on gross sales and advertising, it should see a web lack of $10 million this yr.
Management says it has $13.1 million in money readily available and investments. It would have extra if it hadn’t spent $7.5 million shopping for again Series A-1 most well-liked shares in November 2019 that have been bought for twice that value. (The investor that offered its shares was additionally relieved of its dedication to fund one other $10 million. It’s straightforward to think about this was WeWork, however we don’t know this.) Because of that outlay, the corporate truly in all probability did fairly properly final yr; it simply can’t state it that manner.
Still, we’re just a little intrigued by this one. The solely exterior shareholder that owns greater than 5% of Laird Superfood is Danone Manifesto Ventures, the company enterprise arm of the worldwide meals and beverage firm. It owns 13.4% of the corporate. Why wouldn’t Danone, which appears to be like to have invested $10 million within the enterprise in April, simply purchase out Laird Superfood outright?
It may very well be that there’s rather more than meets the attention right here (or is mirrored in its S-1). We’re definitely not against firms attempting to go public a lot prior to has been within the case lately. We’re simply questioning if this meals firm is totally baked.
Either manner, the choice to go public is definitely turning into an more and more frequent one, given how sizzling the market has been regardless of the pandemic. According to Renaissance Capital, 27 firms joined the IPO pipeline final week alone.
Hamilton owns 13.2% of the startup. Hodge in the meantime owns 6.4%. Canaccord Genuity and Craig-Hallum Capital Group are the joint bookrunners on the deal. No pricing phrases have been included within the submitting.