December 6, 2021
This year was a banner one for initial public offerings, with more than 1,000 IPOs hitting the markets this year, according to Stock Analysis, an online source for stock data and information. While it remains to be seen whether 2022 will produce such impressive figures, some very exciting consumer-focused IPOs in the works should generate serious buzz. Let’s take a quick look at a few.
Impossible Foods Inc.
With a growing number of consumers opting for meatless diets, an increasing number of restaurant chains are including plant-based alternatives on their menus. Offering plant-based alternatives seems to be a business imperative. According to Vegetarian Times Magazine, 9.7 million Americans follow a vegetarian-based diet, and that number is rising fast. Many consumers take this route with their diets through plant-based meat alternatives provided by Impossible Foods and its competitors. Founder and CEO Dr. Patrick O. Brown told Forbes in early November that an IPO was “inevitable.” ResearchAndMarkets.com valued the plant-based meat market at $1.06 billion in 2020 and predicts it will reach $2.63 billion by 2027.
With a loyal following of 150 million monthly active users and 19 million active servers per week, Discord is one of the go-to VoIP, instant messaging and digital distribution platforms for e-sports and LAN tournament gamers. Once using the motto, “Chat for Gamers,” the company has since broadened to become an all-purpose communications platform after experiencing a substantial bump in users during the pandemic. Discord’s owners previously sought to sell the company (Microsoft Corp. (Tii:MSFT) was a contender). However, those conversations failed to bear fruit. With a $7 billion valuation at its last fund-raise, investors expect Discord to go public sometime in 2022.
While still expected to go public in 2022, online grocery delivery services provider Instacart delayed its IPO to focus on expanding its lineup of services for grocery retailers. The startup, which generated a reported $1.5 billion in revenues in 2020, has become a major player in the delivery services business, competing with such big names as The Kroger Co. (Tii:KR) and Walmart Inc. (Tii:WMT). The segment has become an enticing one for retailers and digital platforms alike. Online grocery shopping sales generated an estimated $112.9 billion in 2021, and market research provider Statista projects the total to increase to $135.2 billion next year. Delivery services currently account for just a fraction of those sales, meaning significant room for growth.
iFIT Health & Fitness
Another postponed 2021 IPO comes from health and fitness subscription technology company iFIT Health & Fitness. The company cited adverse market conditions for the delay, stating that it would continue to evaluate the timing for the proposed offering. With more than 6.4 million members in over 120 countries, iFIT’s integrated platform powers some of the premier fitness brands in the health and fitness industry, including NordicTrack, ProForm, Sweat, Freemotion, Weider and 29029. With a 2022 IPO likely, the company is currently marketing its products aggressively. The company announced that it would launch NordicTrack from iFIT branded Pop In shops inside more than 50 select Amazon Books stores and 4-star stores in the United States through February 2022. The Pop-Ins are meant to provide a try-before-you-buy experience where consumers can demo iFIT’s fitness content on NordicTrack equipment.
The Fresh Market
For gourmet grocery store chain The Fresh Market, its planned IPO represents its second time around. The company, which operates 159 stores in 22 states across the U.S., went public in 2010 but was acquired by Apollo Global Management Inc. six years later for approximately $1.4 billion amid intense competitive pressures. Performance has improved since the private equity firm applied its turnaround strategy and reorganized the company. Comparable store sales grew 22.3% in fiscal 2020, and Fresh Market Holdings reported $1.9 billion in revenue for the 12 months ended in April 2021. In July, the company filed for a proposed IPO on the Nasdaq exchange under the symbol “TFM.”
Whether 2022 shows the same robust IPO activity as this year is questionable. Market volatility and inflation worries have already led to the postponement of several IPOs. But with many Wall Street firms predicting a continued rally in 2022, the IPO outlook remains pretty strong.