August 15, 2014, 5:05 PM

E-retailer Wayfair files for a $350 million IPO

The retailer says its sales in the first half of 2014 totaled $574.1 million, a 50% year-over-year increase.

Lead Photo

Wayfair CEO Niraj Shah speaks at IRCE in June.

Online home furnishings retailer Wayfair LLC filed today to go public, aiming to raise $350 million.

Wayfair, No. 45 in the 2014 Internet Retailer Top 500, disclosed in its filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission total revenue for 2013 of $915.8 million, a 52.4% increase from 2012, and for the first six months of 2014 of $574.1 million, up 49.8% from the same period last year.

However, the Boston-based company remains unprofitable, booking a loss of $15.5 million in 2013 and $51.4 million in the first six months of 2014.

Launched in 2002 as CSN Stores LLC, the company grew to operate 240 specialized e-commerce sites, such as bedroomfurniture.com and allbarstools.com. In 2011, the company made a strategic shift to redirect traffic from all those sites to one site, Wayfair.com. It also changed the company’s name to Wayfair LLC (CSN changes name to Wayfair.

In its filing, Wayfair also reported:

  • The company generated net revenue of $673.4 million in 2013 and $469.5 million in the first half of 2014 from direct sales of its own merchandise. Another $242.4 million in 2013 and $104.6 million in the first half of this year came from sales by third parties on Wayfair sites.
  • Wayfair’s typical customer is a 35- to 65-year-old woman with an annual household income of $60,000 to $175,000.
  • The company has shipped more than 11.8 million orders since its launch.

Wayfair says in its filing that it believes its mass-market customer base is not well served by bricks-and-mortar or competing web-only retailers. “Because each of our customers has a different taste, style, purchasing goal and budget when shopping for her home, we have built one of the largest online selections of furniture, home furnishings, décor and goods. We are able to offer this vast selection of products while holding minimal inventory because we typically ship products directly from our suppliers to our customers. This supplier direct fulfillment network is a key component of our custom-built and seamlessly integrated technology and operational platform, which also includes extensive supplier integrations, a proprietary transportation delivery network and superior customer service,” the filing says.

In its filing, Wayfair says its founders, including CEO Niraj Shah, financed the company themselves through 2011. The company has since raised $193 million in capital, $36 million in a Series A funding round in 2012 when it launched its flash-sale site, Joss & Main, and another $157 million in a Series B round this year.

The web-only retailer’s rapid growth has fueled speculation about a possible IPO.

While Shah did not address those rumors in a keynote address to the 2014 IRCE conference in Chicago in June, he explained in detail how the retailer has grown by listening carefully to its customers.

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