Impact Coming to a Stock Exchange Near You
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Note from the FWIW Team: Ahead of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, our thoughts are with the victims and those they left behind. You can find a list of places still helping the affected families and first responders here. We will never forget.
Whether it’s questionable fashion trends, like low-rise jeans and bucket hats, or pop culture, the early 2000s are very cool right now. The IPO market is also in Y2K throwback mode with the total number of IPOs this year expected to reach 375, a record high since the frenzy of the internet bubble two decades ago.
The following mission-focused, impact firms are slated to go public soon:
- Rivian – Electric pickup manufacturer, potential Tesla rival
The Illinois-based firm is reportedly seeking a market value of $80 billion. That is more than what Ford (one of its backers) or General Motors is worth. FYI, Amazon has invested over $1 billion and ordered 100,000 delivery vans as part of their push to become carbon neutral by 2040.
- Warby Parker – Eyeglass maker with “Buy a Pair, Give a Pair” promise (Certified B Corp)
While best known for their stylish glasses, every time Warby Parker sells a pair of eyeglasses, a pair is made available to someone in need, either very cheap or for free. In the 11 years since it was founded, 8 million pairs have been distributed this way. The regulatory filing mentions “impact” 182 times and “stakeholder” 22 times.
- Allbirds – Sustainable footwear (Public Benefit Corp, Certified B Corp, Carbon Neutral, DiCaprio Approved)
Founded by a Kiwi footballer, this brand makes its shoes exclusively of materials found in nature, aka no plastic. It obsessively measures its carbon footprint all the way to the landfill, works on reducing it, and offsets emissions. It has filed to go public through the first ever “sustainable public equity offering.”
Private startups like these with social and environmental initiatives are increasingly testing retail investor appetite, and the list of other like-minded companies expected to go public this year continues to expand. Read on to learn about B Corps and keep watching this space for more developments in the IPO universe.
*As a reminder, we're sharing these companies as examples to keep you in the know, not providing investment advice.
B is for B Corp
Allbirds and Warby Parker have more in common than just their pending IPOs. They’re both certified B Corporations, a label first introduced in 2006 that is more and more of an asset in today’s ESG and sustainability focused world.
You may have noticed the “B” symbol on major clothing brands or in the dairy aisle (if not, you will now!). It’s not a legal or regulatory status, but a voluntary one: it means that within the last 3 years the company has been certified to meet a range of standards for what they do and how they do it (read: good for people, society, and the environment). The 3,500 certified businesses call themselves “B Corporations,” or “B Corps.”