The e-commerce retail startup Honest Co, co-founded by actor Jessica Alba, is working with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley on a possible initial public offering, reports Bloomberg citing anonymous sources.
So far Honest Co. has attracted some $220 million in funding from investors, is valued at $1.7 billion, and there’s been talk about an IPO for the company for a couple of years.
The retail company has struggled of late, amidst concerns that its “natural” and “organic” labels are misleading. Criticism and even lawsuits contend that some of its products contain synthetic and possibly even harmful ingredients, and some users found its sunscreen products to be ineffective.
Several tech startups, despite talk of going public, are holding off in hopes the market becomes more receptive, which Bloomberg’s Alex Barinka notes could come in March or April this year.
Tech startups notably held off going public last year, and have been able to be patient thanks to large private funding rounds totaling $51 billion, according to research firm CB Insights. No companies staged an IPO last month, the slowest for IPOs since December 2008, the height of the financial crisis.
Honest Co. in particular has seen success online and is sold through Target and Whole Foods stores, and its subscription offers are particularly attractive because that model suggests steady revenues, Barinka notes.
The company started in 2011 by selling eco-friendly baby products and has since expanded to home cleaning products, and health and beauty products.