- Outdoor lifestyle specialist Solo Brands filed for an initial public offering as it looks to pay down debt and make more acquisitions.
- The company's brand stable is led by its largest, Solo Stove, maker of camping stoves and fire pits. This year the company acquired men's apparel maker Chubbies, as well as equipment brands Oru Kayak and Isle Paddle Boards.
- Solo Brands is backed by private equity firm Summit Partners. According to Solo's S-1, existing shareholders will continue to have significant voting influence over the company for the foreseeable future.
DTC IPOs this year have hit a fever pitch, helped along, no doubt, by the best stock market in history. Eight companies in the retail space, including Solo Brands, have filed just since August. Year to date, Retail Dive has tracked 15 companies that have filed for IPOs, plus Warby Parker, which listed itself directly.
In that cohort are DTC players including Allbirds, Brilliant Earth, Honest Co., Olaplex, On and A.K.A. Brands.
Those making their public debut this year vary in size and financial profile. Many are fast-growing but unprofitable. With its acquisitions this year, Solo Brands has significantly grown its revenue when comparing the first half of 2021 to 2020 (its financial report as though all of its 2021 acquisitions were made on Jan. 1), and the company is operating at a profit.
Solo Stove, founded in 2011 by brothers Jeff and Spencer Jan, has grown at a compounded annual growth rate of 132% over the past five years since launching its fire pit product, the company said. By brand, net sales in fiscal 2020 amounted to $133 million for Solo Stove, $44 million for Chubbies, $21 million for Isle and $12 million for Oru.
"Our DTC model enables us to communicate directly with our customers, which provides real-time customer insights, control of pricing and brand messaging, and helps cultivate a loyal following," the company said in its S-1. "Our expertise with data and our expansive digital infrastructure position us as an agile, fast-moving leader in the DTC lifestyle marketplace."
Currently led by John Merris, previously chief revenue officer of dry eraseboard-maker Clarus Glassboards, Solo Brands says it has a base of 2.3 million customers, with a combined 4.5 million social media followers and 42 million site visits across its brands.