Benchmark-Backed Stitch Fix Said to Mull Public Offering

Is Stitch Fix ready to go public?
By Alex Barinka, Alistair Barr, and Alex Sherman. Source: Bloomberg.

Stitch Fix Inc., the online personal-styling service backed by Benchmark, is considering an initial public offering, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Executives have held early discussions with bankers about a potential deal, and the board plans to decide in the next month whether to pursue a public offering, said the people, asking not to be identified as the process is private. The company, which counts Benchmark and Lightspeed Venture Partners among its backers, also turned down late-stage money from several interested investors, one of the people said.

Stitch Fix hasn’t turned down late-stage funding from interested investors, a spokeswoman for the company said in an emailed statement, adding that the board will not be meeting next month to decide on plans for an IPO.

After collecting information on customers’ style, size and price preferences, Stitch Fix sends users five pieces of clothing for a $20 styling fee. Customers can then buy the items they like or send them back. The company, started by Chief Executive Officer Katrina Lake while she was at Harvard Business School, shipped its first packages in 2011.

An IPO would follow a pickup in tech listings since September. There have been 16 U.S. IPOs in the U.S. to raise $6.2 billion since then, compared with 13 deals that raised $1.9 billion in the prior seven months.

After Snap Inc. raised $3.9 billion and MuleSoft Inc. sold $254 million of stock this year, more companies are in the pipeline. Cloudera Inc., MapR Technologies Inc. and ForeScout Technologies Inc. have hired underwriters for IPOs, people familiar with those deals said, while Appian Corp. and Ancestry.com Inc. are considering listings.

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