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Chewy Seeks $100 Million In U.S. IPO – Seeking Alpha

Quick Take

Chewy (CHWY) has filed to raise gross proceeds of $100 million from a U.S. IPO, according to an S-1 registration statement.

The firm operates a pet-oriented e-commerce platform in the US.

CHWY is generating significant revenue but also losing money quickly.

Company & Technology

Dania Beach, Florida-based Chewy was founded in 2011 to become a one-stop e-commerce platform for pet products, ranging from foods and treats to pharmaceuticals.

Management is headed by CEO and Director Sumit Singh, who has been with the firm since 2017 and was previously general manager and director of Amazon’s (AMZN) North American Merchant Fulfillment and Third-party operations.

Chewy has a selection of over 45,000 products for dogs, cats, birds, fish, small pets, reptiles, horses, and others.

The company offers an ‘Autoship’ subscription that gives its customers an automatic reordering feature.

Below is a brief overview video of one of Chewy’s YouTube marketing campaigns:

Source: Chewy

For the Fiscal Year 2018, Chewy recorded total net sales of $3.5 billion, an increase of 68% over its $2.1 billion of net sales for 2017, as shown in the following graphic:

Source: Company registration statement

The firm has over 10,000 customer support employees to whom it refers to as “Chewtopians” that are spread across 12 locations in the US and ready to support Chewy’s customers 24/7.

Investors in Chewy included Lone Pine Capital, Well Fargo Capital Finance, BlackRock, VerInvest, Greenspring Associates, Allen & Company, New Horizon Ventures Capital, Mark Vadon, and Volition Capital among others. Source: Crunchbase

Customer/User Acquisition

Chewy believes its predominant customer acquisition channel to be word-of-mouth, alongside paid and non-paid advertising, including search engine, direct mail, TV, social media, and radio advertising as well as email marketing.

Sales and marketing expenses as a percentage of revenue have been dropping as revenue has increased, per the table below:

Advertising & Marketing

Expenses vs. Revenue



FYE 2019




FYE 2016


Sources: Company registration statement andIPO Edge

The advertising & marketing efficiency rate, defined as how many dollars of additional gross profit are generated by each dollar of advertising & marketing spend, was an impressive 3.6x in the most recent year, as shown in the table below:

Advertising & Marketing

Efficiency Rate



FYE 2019




Sources: Company registration statement and IPO Edge

Market & Competition

According to a 2018 market research report by Hexa Research, the US online pet food and supplies market is projected to reach $6.13 billion by 2025.

The main factors driving market growth are rising pet ownership in the US as well as the benefits of e-commerce shopping, such as convenient shopping, availability of imported pet products, and price comparisons.

Major competitors that operate pet e-commerce platforms include:

  • Petfood Direct

  • Amazon (AMZN)

  • Other online retailers

Source: Sentieo

Financial Performance

CHWY’s recent financial results can be summarized as follows:

  • Strong growth in topline revenue and gross profit

  • Increasing gross margin

  • Reduced negative EBITDA

  • Fluctuating and significant net losses

  • Decreased cash used in operations in 2018

Below are relevant financial metrics derived from the firm’s registration statement:

Total Revenue


Total Revenue

% Variance vs. Prior

FYE 2019

$ 3,532,837,000



$ 2,104,287,000


FYE 2016

$ 900,566,000

Gross Profit (Loss)


Gross Profit (Loss)

% Variance vs. Prior

FYE 2019

$ 714,805,000



$ 367,550,000


FYE 2016

$ 149,831,000

Gross Margin


Gross Margin

FYE 2019




FYE 2016






FYE 2019

$ (267,766,000)



$ (337,851,000)


FYE 2016

$ (107,427,000)


Net Income (Loss)


Net Income (Loss)

FYE 2019

$ (267,890,000)


$ (338,057,000)

FYE 2016

$ (107,164,000)

Cash Flow From Operations


Cash Flow From Operations

FYE 2019

$ (13,415,000)


$ (79,747,000)

FYE 2016

$ 7,252,000

Sources: Company registration statement and IPO Edge

As of February 3, 2019, the company had $88.3 million in cash and $877.6 million in total liabilities.

Free cash flow during the twelve months ended February 3, 2018, was a negative ($57.6 million)

IPO Details

CHWY intends to raise $100 million in gross proceeds from an IPO of its Class A common stock, not including customary underwriter options.

Class B shareholder and majority owner Petsmart will remain controlling shareholder after the IPO.

The S&P 500 Index no longer admits firms with multiple classes of shares into its index.

Per the firm’s latest filing, it plans to use the net proceeds from the IPO as follows:

We intend to use the net proceeds that we will receive from this offering (including any additional proceeds that we may receive if the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares of our Class A common stock from us) for working capital and general corporate purposes.

Management’s presentation of the company roadshow isn’t available yet.

Listed underwriters of the IPO are Allen & Company, J.P. Morgan, and Morgan Stanley.

Expected IPO Pricing Date: To be announced.

An enhanced version of this article on my Seeking Alpha Marketplace research service IPO Edge includes my full commentary and opinion on the IPO.

Members of IPO Edge get the latest IPO research, news, and industry analysis. Get started with a free trial!

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Editor’s Note: This article covers one or more microcap stocks. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks.


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Why Is This Food Company, Who Just Had An IPO, Growing Faster Than Lyft And Zoom? – Forbes

Healthy food. Millenial son with boomer mother.


Beyond Meat, the maker of plant-based meat substitutes like the Beyond Burger, shattered expectations when its shares jumped 163% on May 2nd, 2019 after the company’s initial public offering. It was the biggest-popping IPO for a U.S. company with a market cap of at least $200 million since 2000, according to Dealogic data.

Just to compare, Beyond Meat’s price-to-sales multiple of 40 would be closer to that of Zoom, 2019’s other hottest IPO, which reached profitability before going public and now trades at a price-to-sales multiple of about 55. Lyft which has stumbled out of the gate since going public since its March debut, now trades around a multiple of 7. However, it’s worth noting that out of all those names, Beyond Meat boasts the largest year-over-year sales growth for any of those newly minted public unicorns at an impressive clip of 169%. Zoom’s and Lyft’s growth rates pale in comparison at 118% and 100%, respectively.

This is from the Beyond Meat website:  At Beyond Meat, we believe there is a better way to feed the planet. Our mission is to create The Future of Protein® – delicious plant-based burgers, sausage, crumbles, and more– made directly from simple plant-based ingredients. By shifting from animal, to plant-based meat, we are creating one savory solution that solves four growing issues attributed to livestock production: human health, climate change, constraints on natural resources and animal welfare.

So, what’s going on here and what opportunities does this present for entrepreneurs and new startups? According to industry reports the meat substitutes market is estimated at USD 4.63 Billion in 2018 and is projected to reach a value of USD 6.43 Billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 6.8%. The market is driven by factors such as rising health concerns (which include obesity and diabetes) due to consumption of meat products. Also, due to the health benefits provided by meat substitute products, such as weight loss and general wellbeing, the market for these products is projected to grow. Furthermore, as the adoption level of meat substitutes by consumers continues to increase, it helps companies innovate and develop product lines for meat substitutes, which has further contributed to the growth of the meat substitutes market.

Healthy tasty food vegetable burger patty with fresh salad on a plate. 


Just like craft beer has done to “generic” beer, this market will continue to achieve dynamic growth with no end in sight for the foreseeable future. Here are the target customers and trends driving this rapid revolution in “meatless” plant protein based alternatives.

Rise of Vegan/Vegetarian: It used to be that if you told someone you were a vegan or vegetarian, they looked at you in a weird way. Not anymore. Somehow, over the past 20 years, there is an almost universal belief that plant based foods are just better for us. Perhaps we are returning to our cave man roots. You can look at any vegan/vegetarian industry category and it is rising from milk to ice cream to meat alternatives.  What else can you substitute?

Baby Boomers and aging: As baby boomers (72 million) have aged, they first turned to making their plate more “green” with salads and vegetables, cutting down on carbs, starch and protein. The goal is to be healthier in an effort to live better and longer. Now they are adding plant based alternatives to meat and looking to get protein in other ways. Why? Because some of the new products just taste good. And if it tastes good, is can be a substitute for something we always took for granted, like a great burger.

Millennials and healthy planet: This population group (74 million and rising) continues to lead so many changes in this industry which is fueled by several of their beliefs and passions. One, they believe plant based foods are healthier. Two, they believe plant based alternatives are more sustainable. Three, they believe that if they eat plant based foods, they are contributing to a better planet.

If you are paying attention to this industry, and want to create a startup to leverage this rising trend, research and examine what is the next food group or category that can be tipped over by moving to a plant-based substitute. Even though all the companies IPOing today still need to prove their viability in the long run, who would have thought three years ago that Beyond Meat would have a higher stock price that Lyft?


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Uber, Lyft drivers to strike Wednesday ahead of Uber IPO – USA TODAY

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Uber, Lyft drivers plan to strike Wednesday ahead of Uber IPO

Uber and Lyft drivers are scheduled to strike Wednesday, the day before Uber’s planned initial public offering.


A link has been posted to your Facebook feed.


Both Uber & Lyft have placed a hold on new drivers in New York City. Buzz60’s Natasha Abellard has the story.

NEW YORK – An organization representing for-hire drivers in New York City says its members will go on a two-hour strike against Uber and Lyft ahead of Uber’s planned initial public stock offering.

The New York City Taxi Workers Alliance says its members voted not to drive for Uber or Lyft between 7 and 9 a.m. Wednesday.

San Francisco-based Uber is aiming to raise $9 billion in its initial public offering Thursday.

Drivers in other U.S. cities are planning a work stoppage Wednesday to demand a minimum wage.

App-based drivers in New York City are already legally entitled to a minimum wage of about $17 an hour after expenses. The Taxi Workers Alliance says its demands include greater job security.

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An Uber spokesman declined to comment. A Lyft spokeswoman said Lyft drivers’ hourly earnings have increased over the last two years.


Catching an Uber or Lyft? Follow these tips to stay safe.


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Uber IPO: Be Ready to Be Underwhelmed – Yahoo Finance

(NASDAQ: LYFT) much-awaited IPO has turned out to be a disappointment for investors, as shares of the ridesharing specialist are down significantly since its stock market debut. Short-sellers have piled into Lyft stock, believing it to be overvalued. Analysts haven’t been kind to the company, either.” data-reactid=”12″>Lyft‘s (NASDAQ: LYFT) much-awaited IPO has turned out to be a disappointment for investors, as shares of the ridesharing specialist are down significantly since its stock market debut. Short-sellers have piled into Lyft stock, believing it to be overvalued. Analysts haven’t been kind to the company, either.

amended filing, which would value the company at less than $90 billion at the midpoint. That’s down from the $48 to $55 range the ridesharing giant was reportedly targeting earlier.” data-reactid=”13″>This has set a bad precedent for Uber, the world’s largest ridesharing company. Uber now plans to price its IPO in a range of $44 to $50 per share, according to an amended filing, which would value the company at less than $90 billion at the midpoint. That’s down from the $48 to $55 range the ridesharing giant was reportedly targeting earlier.

This reported pullback in the pricing of Uber’s IPO isn’t surprising, as the company is contending with a ton of problems.

View photos

Chart indicating slowdown in Uber’s user growth.

Data source: Uber’s S-1 Filing. Chart by author.

This massive slowdown in user growth is hurting the company’s financial performance. Uber lost nearly $1 billion in the first quarter of 2019 on revenue of roughly $3 billion.

Assuming that Uber keeps up this run rate for the remainder of the year, it could lose around $4 billion on roughly $12 billion in revenue. That would be approximately double the $1.8 billion it lost in 2018. This isn’t surprising, given that the company itself expects operating expenses to rise because of the competitive challenges it faces.

Does Uber’s valuation still make sense?

initially hoped for an IPO valuation around $120 billion. Now that it plans to price its IPO in a range of $44 to $50 per share, Uber expects to be valued at a maximum of $91.5 billion. The lower end of that pricing range would put its valuation at around $80.5 billion on a fully-diluted basis. ” data-reactid=”70″>Uber initially hoped for an IPO valuation around $120 billion. Now that it plans to price its IPO in a range of $44 to $50 per share, Uber expects to be valued at a maximum of $91.5 billion. The lower end of that pricing range would put its valuation at around $80.5 billion on a fully-diluted basis. 

NYU Stern professor Aswath Damodaran, a notable valuation expert, estimates that Uber could be worth somewhere between $58 billion and $62 billion.

Damodaran believes that Uber rival Lyft is worth around $59 per share: a little more than $15 billion. Indeed, Lyft stock has been trading near that level for the past several weeks. That’s well below its IPO price of $72 a share.

Don’t be surprised if Uber’s IPO goes the Lyft way

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  • Harsh Chauhan has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.” data-reactid=”84″>Harsh Chauhan has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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    Of Recent IPOS, Zoom Surpassed Lyft and Pinterest in Value – Fortune

    Surging shares of Zoom Video Communications since its debut last month have made it more valuable than Lyft and Pinterest.

    The conferencing technology company has gained 120% since it sold shares at a valuation of $9.2 billion on April 17, making it the best performing initial public offering of the year to raise at least $300 million, according to Bloomberg data. Zoom’s $20.6 billion market capitalization now exceeds Lyft at $17.9 billion and Pinterest at $15.3 billion.

    Of the three companies, Zoom is the only one that turns a profit. The San Jose, Calif.-based company had adjusted net income of $5.7 million in the fourth quarter on revenue of $105.8 million. After closing lower just once in the 11 days since the IPO, the stock is trading 33% above the average analyst target price.

    By contrast, (lyft)Lyft, which sold shares at a $20.6 billion valuation last month, has struggled to rise above its debut price and has seen its shares fall 13%. The ride-hailing company may face additional pressures next week when larger rival Uber Technologies is expected to price its own offering. (pinterest)Pinterest, the social-networking company, debuted on the same day as Zoom and has gained 49%.


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    Lyft earnings: A test drive arrives as Uber IPO moves up the track – MarketWatch

    The ride-hailing industry is about to face its biggest week yet on Wall Street.

    Lyft Inc.

    LYFT, +1.64%

     hasn’t had a very warm welcome to the public markets since its late-March initial public offering, but the company will look to turn that around on Tuesday afternoon when it delivers its first earnings report as a public company. The reaction to that may set the tone for rival Uber Technologies Inc.

    UBER, +0.00%

     , which appears ready to make a splash with its own IPO later in the week.

    The two transportation giants have different priorities and profiles, but they invite the same concerns from investors about steep losses, murky profit trajectories and a continuing price war. Lyft will look to dispel some of those fears—or at least steer attention elsewhere—when it faces analysts publicly for the first time on its earnings call.

    Uber IPO: 5 things you need to know about potentially the biggest IPO in years

    It remains to be seen whether shares of Lyft and Uber will trade mostly in tandem once the two companies are both public, or whether investors will home in on the differences between Lyft’s ride-oriented, U.S.-focused business and Uber’s sprawling international empire that touches everything from food delivery to freight and health care.

    “To this point, we believe many investors have taken a wait-and-see approach, and not putting real money to work in Lyft but rather waiting 1) to see what investor reaction to Uber’s IPO will be, and 2) for Lyft to report its first quarter as a public company,” Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives wrote Friday.

    Already, analysts have been picking their favorites. Wedbush’s Ygal Arounian recently declared his preference for Uber because its robust platform and logistics expertise reminded him of a younger Inc. Ives also favors Uber over Lyft “at current levels.” D.A. Davidson’s Tom White remains on the sidelines for Uber due to the company’s deteriorating margins and slowing revenue growth, but he still rates Lyft shares a buy.

    What to expect

    Earnings: Analysts surveyed by FactSet expect Lyft to report an adjusted loss per share of $4.85. According to Estimize, which crowdsources projections from hedge funds, academics, and others, the average projection calls for $2.49 a share in losses.

    Revenue: The FactSet consensus is for $740.1 million in first-quarter revenue, while the average projection on Estimize calls for $746 million. A year ago, Lyft recorded $397.2 million in March-quarter revenue.

    Stock movement: Lyft shares are off 14% from their IPO price of $72. Of the 24 analysts tracked by FactSet who cover Lyft’s stock, 14 rate it a buy, eight rate it a hold, and two call it a sell. The average price target on shares is $75.25, 21% above recent levels.

    What else to watch for

    Lyft and Uber heaped promotions on riders in the lead-up to their initial public offerings, and these discounts are expected to factor into Lyft’s latest financials.

    Uber disclosed in its prospectus that it saw increased promotional spending and competitive activity in the first few months of the year, which “could be a headwind to Lyft in its first quarter as a public company,” said Guggenheim’s Jake Fuller, who rates the stock a hold. If so, look for an impact to Lyft’s take rate, or the amount of each fare that the company retains.

    Given heightened promotional activity prior to the IPO, the key question is whether management expects to pull back on this discounting now that it’s offering is out of the way and Uber’s is about to take place. Lyft was thought to be boosting its market share by offering cheap rides ahead of its investor roadshow, but share gains may be less important now that the company is public.

    Slack non-IPO: 5 things to know about the direct listing

    Though Lyft’s main business is ride-hailing, the company participates in a number of emerging areas, like docked bikes and scooters, that don’t yet bring in much revenue while racking up costs. The company is also trying to build up more of an enterprise business, by building relationships with companies to arrange rides to doctor’s appointments or job interviews. Look for commentary from management about the growth strategy for these businesses and Lyft’s approach to those investments.

    “Lyft is currently seeing almost no top-line benefit from the spend incurred for these noncore segments,” wrote Piper Jaffray’s Michael Olson, who has an overweight rating and $78 price target on the stock.

    Read also: Lyft short selling builds after Uber files IPO paperwork

    The company might also share more information about its international plans, following a limited launch in Canada. Brent Thill of Jefferies, who rates the stock a buy with an $86 target, expects that further expansion within Canada could help drive upside in the coming quarters. He’s also watching for improvement on margins and per-ride metrics.

    Nonfinancial metrics are important when evaluating Lyft’s results, and the company is expected to show continued growth in active riders and rides taken. Lyft had 18.6 million active riders in the December quarter who took a combined 178.4 million rides. Susquehanna analyst Shyam Patil expects that key drivers of growth in the rider base include marketing and increased supply of drivers, as well as geographic expansion. He rates the stock at neutral with a $57 target.

    Wedbush’s Ives dropped his price target on Lyft stock to $67 from $80 on Friday.

    “The bulls are looking for a strong print/guide and … a step in the right direction after a brutal first month out of the gates for Lyft (and its investors),” Ives wrote.


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    A red-hot market, and Uber’s IPO in Cramer’s week ahead – CNBC

    A red-hot market, and Uber’s IPO in Cramer’s week ahead  CNBC

    Despite all the grousers who want the Fed to raise or lower rates here, the truth is that the status quo is fabulous for stocks. Cramer discusses why as well as the …


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    Ride-hailing drivers in New York to strike ahead of Uber IPO

    NEW YORK, May 3 (Reuters) – Uber Technologies Inc’s drivers in New York will go on strike next week shortly before the ride-hailing company goes public to protest what they view as unfair employment conditions, a taxi union said on Friday.

    The protests underscore the challenge for Uber of finding a way to lower driver costs in order to become profitable and paying drivers enough to retain their services.

    Drivers for Uber, as well Lyft Inc and other ride-hailing apps, will strike on Wednesday May 8 for two hours from 07:00 am EST (1130 GMT). Uber currently expects to price its IPO on May 9 and begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange the following day.

    The drivers join peers in San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, Philadelphia and Washington DC who are also planning to strike.

    The New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA) said the drivers are demanding job security, livable incomes and a cap on the amount ride-hailing companies can collect from fares.

    “Uber claims that we are independent contractors even though they set our rates and control our work day,” Sonam Lama, a NYTWA member and Uber driver since 2015, said in a statement.

    “Uber executives are getting rich off of our work. They should treat us with respect. We are striking to send a message that drivers will keep rising up,” Lama said.

    Uber cautioned in its IPO filing that its business would be “adversely affected” if drivers were classified as employees instead of independent contractors.

    The company hopes to be valued at between $80.5 billion and $91.5 billion. Uber has yet to turn a profit. It reported a net loss for the first quarter of 2019.

    “I voted to go on strike because drivers need job security,” said Henry Rolands, an NYTWA member and Lyft driver.

    Uber and Lyft did not immediately respond to requests for comment. (Reporting by Joshua Franklin in New York; editing by Bill Berkrot)

    Source: IPOs
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    UPDATE 2-SoftBank mulls IPO of $100 bln Vision Fund -source

    (Adds banking source quote)

    May 3 (Reuters) – Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp is considering an initial public offering of its $100 billion Vision Fund, a source familiar with the matter said on Friday.

    The fund was set up in 2017 and has become the world’s largest technology investment fund. Its investments include ride-hailing pioneer Uber, chip designer ARM and shared workspace firm WeWork.

    The company has publicly stated it plans to set up a second investment fund. The senior banking source said Softbank was now talking to banks about helping it raise money, confirming an earlier report in the Wall Street Journal.

    Softbank has spoken to half a dozen banks over the last month about a potential listing of the Vision Fund but has yet to start a formal process, the source said, adding he was not expecting such a process in the near term.

    “They asked banks questions on how they could possibly do it. It is still very much in exploration mode,” the source said, adding that Softbank had been possibly given the idea by fellow tech investor Naspers, which plans to list some of its assets.

    “The big difference is that the biggest asset in the Naspers portfolio is Tencent, which is listed, whereas the portfolio of the Vision Fund is all private,” the source said.

    China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd is a social media and gaming company listed in Hong Kong.

    A spokesman for Softbank declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.

    SoftBank is also in talks with Oman for an investment in the fund, which has raised nearly all of its funding so far from Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi, according to the WSJ report.

    Oman was not immediately available for a comment when contacted by Reuters, nor was there an immediate response from the Japanese conglomerate.

    SoftBank is seeking to raise new funds for “informal deals” chief executive officer Masayoshi Son negotiated in China for Vision Fund, one of the people told WSJ.

    The fund is also planning to double its staff over the next 18 months to keep up with the pace of deal making by SoftBank, the company’s top deputies reportedly said at a conference in Los Angeles this week. (Reporting by Clara Denina in London and Aparajita Saxena in Bengaluru; additional reporting by Simon Jessop; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta, Shinjini Ganguli and Georgina Prodhan)

    Source: IPOs
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