Today’s IPOs: Fuhget About ‘Em: Here’s A REALLY Hot IPO in the Pipeline

ashleymadison ipo IPO update looks past today’s hot Initial Public Offerings from crafty company Etsy, (NASDAQ: ETSY), the $300mil+ captured by Virtu Financial, the fast trading electronic market maker (NASDAQ:VIRT) and even the big boost in today’s first day of trading for Party City Holdings (NYSE:PRTY)…

Instead, and thanks to Bloomberg’s Kristen Schweizer uncovering the story, we’d argue that all eyes should really be on a truly Hot IPO still in the pipeline, and portending to bare all to investors via a planned listing on the London Stock Exchange. Here’s the unadulterated coverage from Bloomberg’s 15 April story:, a dating website for cheating spouses, wants to hook up with investors by pursuing an initial public offering in London this year.

The site’s parent company, which failed with a previous IPO attempt in Canada, said on Wednesday it is looking to raise as much as $200 million to exploit booming demand for its services.


AshleyMadison CEO Chris Kraemer

AshleyMadison had sales of $115 million last year, an almost fourfold increase on 2009, Christoph Kraemer, its head of international relations said in an interview. It makes money by charging men for credits, which they then use for introductions to women.

Avid Life Media Inc., the Toronto-based holding company that runs along with peers and, wants the new funds for marketing and international expansion.

AshleyMadison has 36 million members in 46 countries, Kraemer said, and claims to be the world’s second-largest paid-for Internet dating website, behind

While the U.S. accounts for about 50 percent of its business, Kraemer said “Europe is the only region where we have a real chance of doing an IPO” because of its more liberal attitude toward adultery.

“We’re no longer a niche, but it’s been difficult in North America to find the support to go public,” he added.

The company has also set a target that 50-60 percent of its sales will come from Asia by 2020, including Japan, Taiwan and South Korea.

Avid Life Media, whose investors are wealthy North Americans who prefer to remain anonymous, registered 45 percent sales growth last year and a profit margin between 20 percent and 25 percent, according to Kraemer, who said the company estimates its value at $1 billion.

It attempted a share sale in Toronto in 2010 but investor appetite wasn’t there, he said. “Right now our focus is to do our homework on London. It’s our priority and our second attempt at IPOing has to go well. We don’t want to repeat what happened the first time around.”

The entire story is bared via this direct link to Bloomberg LP uncoverag

Etsy Vendors Will Be Able To Invest In Themselves

Etsy’s blog update continues coverage of the Etsy IPO. On Thursday, Etsy’s IPO will finally be launched, they have unique plan to target small investors and focus on fewer big investors as part of its plan for their IPO and now it has been release that Etsy’s vendors will be able to invest in themselves. Etsy has set aside 5% of shares for Etsy vendors to purchase through a Morgan Stanley program. The vendors can buy between $100-$2,500 worth of Etsy stocks, how much vendors get will ultimately depend on the pricing and demand of Etsy’s IPO. This blog update is courtesy of the Wall Street Journal’s article, “Etsy Vendors to Get a Piece of IPO“, with an excerpt below. 

Jeni Sandberg usually deals in vintage and collectible items, not in hot new stocks. Still, the home-based art appraiser and consultant plans to take a stake in Etsy Inc. when shares in the online marketplace go public this week.

Ms. Sandberg, who lives in Raleigh, N.C., has been a vendor on Etsy for five years, earning income from her sales there and from work as an art consultant. A former specialist at auction house Christie’s, she manages her own investments and is “by no means a massive player in the financial market.”

When it comes to initial public offerings of stock, “you’re always told, ‘You can’t participate. You’re not part of a financial syndicate. Go away, little person,’” she said.

Etsy, whose IPO is expected to price Wednesday and begin trading Thursday, sought to remedy that lack of access for its vendors and other small investors with a program that gives them the opportunity to buy as much as $2,500 in Etsy stock just before its public float, which aims to raise as much as $267 million. Ms. Sandberg plans to claim her full allotment. “This, I want to do,” she said.

To read the full article from the Wall Street Journal, click here.

Tech IPO Looks To Out Fund Etsy


Last week‘s blog profiled the different practice the peer-to-peer e-commerce company, Etsy, planned to use for its own billion dollar  IPO. Now a little known New York tech company, Virtu Financial, is planning to launch its own billion dollar IPO this week that will rival Etsy’s. This blog update is courtesy of Crain’s New York Business’s article, “The $1B-plus startup IPO coming this week that’s not Etsy“, below is an excerpt.

The long, cold winter has ended,and the thaw is extending to the IPO market. Etsy, Brooklyn’s sentimental favorite,is making headlines with a public offering this week that could raise as much as $267 million, giving it a valuation of nearly $1.8 billion.

But another New York tech company, one that you’ve probably never heard of, is also going public this week—and it plans to raise more money than Etsy. Virtu Financial, a high-speed trading firm, believes investors will fork over as much as $361 million for shares that would make it worth $2.6 billion.

Hard to warm to

Virtu, founded in 2008, is not the sort of company you easily warm up to. It put off a public offering last year when the Michael Lewis book Flash Boys shone a highly unflattering light on high-speed trading. (The Wall Street Journal points out that Virtu has since allied itself with a company that doesn’t hurt other investors with its trading technology and that it earned a favorable mention in the paperback edition of the book.)

Etsy, meanwhile, has made news with an IPO strategy that has been described variously as handcrafted and artisanal. It is spreading the wealth around among smaller investors by putting a cap of $2,500 on the amount of stock that retail in-vestors can buy.

To continue read this article from Crain’s New York Business, click here.

Etsy’s IPO Plan Is Very Crafty


Etsy is a peer-to-peer e-commerce website focused on handmade or vintage items and supplies, as well as unique factory-manufactured items. Last month, profiled  Etsy’s preperation for an IPO, now new details are emerging about Etsy’s plan for its IPO. Etsy hopes to target small investors and focus on fewer big investors as part of its plan for their IPO. By using this unusual practice, Etsy hopes to gain shareholders who share in Etsy’s commitment to socially responsible business practices. This blog update is courtesy of the Wall Street Journal’s article, “Even Etsy’s Initial Public Offering Process Is Artisanal” with an excerpt below.

Leave it to Etsy Inc. to craft an artisanal public offering.

The Brooklyn, N.Y.-based online marketplace for handmade and vintage goods has altered the playbook for its initial public offering, launching an expansive effort to attract small investors and focusing on fewer big investors, according to people familiar with the deal.

The custom-made process is intended to build a shareholder base that is on board with what Etsy says is its commitment to socially responsible business practices and its plans to spend heavily on marketing to grow its membership over the next few years, the people said.

But going off script comes with some risk. The moves include limiting the amount of stock retail investors can get in the IPO to $2,500 so more individuals can take part, and concentrating many of the shares among a relatively small number of big holders. The approach could turn off some traders whose presence can help stabilize a stock once it begins trading.

To continue reading about Etsy’s plan for its IPO from the Wall Street Journal, click here.

A Handmade IPO for Bankers, BrokerDealers and Maybe Investors

etsy ipo blog IPO update and profile of pending initial public offering is courtesy of extract from 5 March story by Bloomberg View’s Matt Levine, “The Etsy IPO and the Triangle Document.” Brokerdealers and bankers alike have been anticipating Etsy’s IPO launch as it could be a big test for companies that have growing businesses and devoted followings and are considering launching their own IPOs. Etsy is a peer-to-peer e-commerce website focused on handmade or vintage items and supplies, as well as unique factory-manufactured items. Now from Bloomberg View’s Matt Levine…

How twee.

You occasionally read about banks’ pitches to take hot companies public, and they are often cringe-worthy: Bankers wore band t-shirts to pitch Pandora, and UBS dressed “around 75 of its employees in Lululemon gear and had them descend upon Central Park for a ‘flash mob’ yoga session” to pitch Lululemon for some reason. What do you think Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Allen & Company did to win the Etsy initial public offering? Did they hand-write the pitchbooks in fountain pen? Crochet them? Or just produce them normally in PowerPoint on their computers, but they were wooden computers? Did everyone else know about this?

The company was founded by Rob Kalin, a carpenter making handmade wooden computers with nowhere to sell them.

So obviously the Internet beckoned. Anyway, Etsy filed its preliminary prospectus yesterday, without a lot of capitalization numbers; Bloomberg reports that it’s seeking to sell about $300 million of stock, while DealBook estimates its pre-money valuation at about $322 million, so, that’s kind of weird. Use of proceeds is “general corporate purposes,” as one does, plus putting $300,000 — 10 basis points of the deal? — into the company’s nonprofit. But unlike a bunch of the internetty companies that I make fun of for going public for no particular reason other than cashing out insiders, Etsy is growing, had a $15.2 million net loss last year, and could probably use the money. (It’s also cashing out some insiders obviously.) The filing also emphasizes “authenticity” and includes this graphic explaining why Etsy works:

To continue reading Matt Levine’s article from Bloomberg View, please click here