Allbirds, the eco-friendly footwear company founded by former All White Tim Brown, has almost doubled its listing price after a strong debut on the Nasdaq stock exchange.
Allbirds shares were up 92.6 per cent at US$28.89 (NZ$40.30) each after the stock’s first day of trading. The initial public offering (IPO) price was US$15 a share.
Allbirds was initially valued at US$3.3 billion, after its shares opened 41 per cent above the IPO price.
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Kristen Lunman, the founder and general manager of Hatch, an online investment platform, said part of the success of the company was that Allbirds was seen as an early mover in an industry expected to take flight.
“This idea of an eco-fashion brand that is up against the big players is exciting. This space could possibly be the niche of tomorrow, and how coincidental with the timing of the current focus on climate,” Lunman said.
Hatch users were able to get early access to Allbirds stock at the IPO price, so they could have almost doubled their money.
But Lunman suspected the interest in Allbirds went beyond financial for many Hatch users.
“We have seen such a high level of activity today from Kiwi retail investors. We think most people are just excited to support a brand that focuses on better outcomes for the planet,” Lunman said.
Jeremy Sullivan, an investment adviser with Hamilton Hindin Greene, said the Allbirds IPO was another New Zealand success story.
“The IPO has obviously been well received by the market. The stock closed up 96.6 per cent up on its listing price, which is a first day I am sure the company and shareholders will be very pleased with,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan said Allbirds got its timing right, having listed after spending the past seven years building revenue past US$100 million through a clever marketing campaign in the United States.
“Everyone is obviously concerned about the environment, so to have a product like this is great,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan said it would be nice if the company listed in New Zealand to give more locals a chance to get behind it, but no-one at the company would have complained after a debut like Thursday’s.
The company was established when Tim Brown teamed up with American Joey Zwillinger to create a sustainable and comfortable sneaker with a simple brandless design.
Within two years Allbirds had sold a million pairs of what Time dubbed “the world’s most comfortable shoe”.
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Investors in Allbirds could have almost doubled their money