March 15, 2012, 11:46 AM

CafePress seeks new capital

The customized products e-retailer hopes to raise more than $70 million from an IPO.

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CafePress Inc., which hopes to raise approximately $80 million in an initial public offering, took in $175.5 million in revenue last year, up 37% from $127.9 million on 2010, according to a new filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The web-only retailer, which lets customers customize products such as T-shirts, coffee mugs and baby clothes, plans to offer 4.5 million shares for $16 to $18 each—which would raise between $72 million and $81 million.

CafePress.com, No. 122 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, plans to use the proceeds for general corporate purposes, including working capital and capital expenditures. “In addition, we may use a portion of the net proceeds to acquire or invest in complementary businesses, products or technologies,” reads the CafePress prospectus.

The company says it is working on a deal to buy Logo’d Softwear Inc., which sells custom apparel geared toward sports fans. On Oct. 1, CafePress acquired L&S Retail Ventures Inc., which owns and operates InvitationBox.com, an online party invitation retailer, for $4.5 million.

The company first filed papers for an IPO in June but did not follow through on the sale. CafePress has not set a date for its IPO.

In the filing, CafePress says it shipped 7.8 million products in 2011. Nearly 130,000 new images are uploaded each week to the sites operated by CafePress. The company offers some 320 million unique items if one combines all the customization possibilities, the filing reads.

Among the reasons CafePress will grow, the prospectus says, is changing consumer behavior and evolving technology. “Consumers increasingly expect a broader selection of both design choices and content to create or customize products,” the filing says. “Historically, consumers have needed help from third-party vendors to customize apparel and other products, but with the widespread availability of easy-to-use digital tools, today people can design products themselves.”

Growth also will come from online shoppers who want to customize photos, says CafePress, which estimates that market will be worth $6.6 billion in 2014.

Besides its wide product range, CafePress says data it accumulates represents one of its strengths. “Our experience in data and analytics allows us to make effective marketing decisions across a continuously updated product catalog with sparse data,” the filing reads.

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and Jefferies & Company Inc. are acting as joint book-running managers for the stock offering, and Cowen and Company LLC is acting as a co-manager, CafePress says.

Earlier this month, e-commerce software provider Demandware Inc. also filed IPO papers in hopes of raising up to $80 million. Demandware previously filed similar papers in July, but did not follow through.

At the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2012, Josh Goldman, General Partner, Norwest, and Justin Halloran, senior vice president of corporate development and international, WhaleShark Media, will speak in a session entitled “Striking the right deal when you go for funding.”

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