Plant-based food maker Laird Superfood files for $40M IPO17 Sep 2020
Laird Superfood, a company founded by the surfer Laird Hamilton, is riding the IPO wave and filed for a $40 million fundraise from investors to appear on the New York Stock Exchange. The company indicated it will use the symbol “LSF.”
The five-year-old company said it is looking to “build the first scale-level and widely recognized brand that authentically focuses on natural ingredients, nutritional density and functionality.” Laird Superfoods sells a variety of superfood products including mushroom coffee, Peruvian coffee beans, coconut sugar and superfood coffee creamers with MCTs.
While the company is small, it is playing in a big category. In its filing, the Laird estimated the market for the natural, organic and functional foods and beverages at $152 billion. This category, although already large, has grown as a result of the pandemic where consumers are looking for better-for-you products to supplement their health and wellness. A Beneo survey from May showed that globally, 75% of consumers said they planned to eat or drink more healthfully as a result of the pandemic.
Although this segment is growing quickly, and Laird is growing successfully as a company – last year, the company generated net sales of $13.1 million and captured $11.1 million in the first six months of 2020 – it is curious that the company is filing for an IPO rather than pursuing an acquisition. Over the five years Laird has been in operation, it has successfully closed six funding rounds for a total of $51 million, according to Crunchbase. Its largest investor is Danone’s venture capital arm, Danone Manifesto Ventures, holds a 13.4% stake in the company. In April, Danone Manifesto Ventures invested $10 million in the company.
Regardless of the reason, going public is likely to rake in millions of dollars for the brand to continue expanding. It already retails in about 5,500 stores, but the majority (57%) of its sales come from e-commerce platforms. Coupled with the growth in the better-for-you segment, Laird will have plenty of runway to continue to grow. In particular, the company noted that repeat business from products that cater to daily rituals like coffee and creamer have solidified the foundation on which the company will focus on building business.
No pricing terms for the stock offering were announced in the filing.
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