Online marketplace Wish files for initial public offering

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Online retailer Wish has filed for a U.S. initial public offering, joining the rush of consumer technology companies seeking to go public before the end of the year.

Wish’s parent company, San Francisco-based ContextLogic, plans to list on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol WISH, according to a filing Friday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. It listed a potential offering size of $1 billion, a placeholder that will likely change.

Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America are leading the IPO, according to the filing.

While Wish filed confidential paperwork for its IPO in August, this is the first chance potential investors have had to scrutinize its financial performance.

Wish’s losses, as well as its sales, have increased during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the filing. It had a net loss of $176 million on revenue of $1.7 billion during the first nine months of this year, compared with a net loss of $5 million on revenue of $1.3 billion during the same period in 2019.

The company joins a glut of consumer-facing tech companies that are aiming to hold their IPOs before the end of 2020. Home-rental giant Airbnb, food delivery company DoorDash, online loan provider Affirm and video-game platform Roblox have all filed this month to go public.

Founded in 2010 by CEO Peter Szulczewski and Danny Zhang, who met at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, Wish is an online marketplace that connects sellers to potential buyers of everything from clothing to electronic goods and kitchenware. ContextLogic owns other online marketplaces, including Geek, Mama, Home and Cute, according to the Wish website.

‘Value conscious’

It differentiates itself by focusing on “value conscious consumers” who it says have been underserved by traditional e-commerce players, according to its filing.

Wish said that most of its vendors are in China, although it’s trying to expand its roster of local suppliers. It mentions “economic tension between the U.S. and China” as a risk that could impact its business.

The company is backed by venture capital firms DST Global, Founders Fund, Formation8 Partners and GGV Capital.

Like many technology companies looking to go public, Wish has a dual-class share structure giving more voting power to its founders. Its Class B shares will carry 20 votes each, compared with one each for the Class A shares sold in the IPO.

Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, UBS, RBC Capital Markets and Credit Suisse Group are also working on the IPO.

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