Online furniture seller Made.com has unveiled plans to float on London’s stock market in a move set to value the group at a reported £1 billion.
Made.com – co-founded by Lastminute.com entrepreneur Brent Hoberman – is aiming to raise £100 million of new money in the initial public offering (IPO), which it plans to invest in growing further across Europe and boosting its homewares range.
Its stock market debut comes amid a boom in demand for home furnishings during the pandemic, as well as a shift towards online retail.
The float is also the latest in a long line of similar recent IPOs, following the likes of online greetings card firm Moonpig, online wine seller Virgin Wines and “recommerce” site MusicMagpie.
Made.com said gross sales jumped 30% higher to £315 million in 2020, with growth accelerating further in the first quarter of 2021 to 63% year-on-year.
It is aiming to have net sales of more than £1.2 billion by 2025.
High street rival DFS has also been enjoying impressive trading, with profits more than quadrupling to £72.1 million, up from £15.9 million a year earlier, in the six months to the end of December.
DFS’s online revenues surged 66% in the first half in a sign that consumers are now more willing to buy so-called big ticket items, such as sofas, over the internet.
Made.com was founded in the UK in 2010 by Mr Hoberman and Ning Li and since 2013, it has expanded across Europe, with Spain the most recent new market it entered in 2018.
Around 52% of gross sales came from the UK market in the first three months of 2021, with the remainder from Continental Europe.
Made chief executive Philippe Chainieux said the firm is “now the leading digitally native lifestyle brand in a sector that is shifting steadily online”.
He added: “The business is fast-growing and we have demonstrated the capacity of our brand and customer proposition to travel well.
“Around half of our sales are outside of the UK and we are aiming to be the leading home destination in Europe for the digital native.”
He said the trend for prioritising spending on the home is not expected to wane, even as countries emerge from lockdowns.
“Many people now expect to spend more on their home,” he said.
“We will see in the future more consumer disposable income going on their homes and interiors.”
The group has two showrooms in the UK and a handful across Europe, but does not plan to increase its bricks and mortar sites as it remains focused on being an online player.
But it is expanding its warehouse space in the London Gateway development in the South East, with plans to hire up to another 100 staff, to help support its growth.
Mr Li – who was chief executive of the firm until the end of 2016 – is a non-executive of Made.com, though Mr Hoberman no longer has an active role in the firm.