HOUSTON – Ashford.com Inc., a Web-based retailer of luxury and premium products, went public September 23, offering 6.25 million shares at $13 apiece. The company’s stock priced at the high end of its $11 to $13 filing range.
Underwritten by Goldman, Sachs & Co., BancBoston Robertson Stephens, Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown and E*OFFERING, the initial public offering left 36.9 million shares outstanding.
There were no selling shareholders. Venture backers included Benchmark Capital, Sequoia Capital and Markas Holding.
Ashford.com focuses on selling new and vintage watches over the Internet, but also is a vendor of writing instruments, fragrances, sunglasses and other luxury goods.
The company plans to use the expected $74.4 million generated from the IPO to increase working capital, create a public market for its common stock, facilitate future access to public markets and to increase visibility in the retail marketplace. The company will use more than 50% of the proceeds for marketing, to make working capital investments in inventory, and for personnel and facility growth. Ashford.com may use a portion of the proceeds to acquire complementary businesses, products or technologies.
Ashford.com has never been profitable, losing $98,000 in the three months ended June 30, 1998 and $3.2 million in the three months ended June 30, 1999.
Kevin Harvey, a managing member of the general partner at Benchmark Capital, joined the company’s board of directors in December 1998.
Ashford.com – Selected Financial
(in thousands, except per share data)
March 6, 1998 (inception) Three Months Ended June 30
to March 31, 1999 1998 1999
Total revenue 5,938 296 3,623
Net loss -1,264 -98 -3,178
Net loss per share -0.12 -0.01 -0.27