AUSTIN, Texas – Garden.com Inc., a Web site for gardening and related commerce, went public September 16, offering 4.1 million shares at $12 apiece. The company’s stock priced in the middle of its $11 to $13 filing range.
Underwritten by Hambrecht & Quist, BancBoston Robertson Stephens and Thomas Weisel Partners L.L.C., the initial public offering left 16.9 million shares outstanding.
Venture backers included Scripps Ventures, Global Retail Partners, Austin Ventures, Pequot Capital Management, Oak Investment Partners, Phillips-Smith Specialty Retail Group, Patricof & Co. Ventures Inc. and Attractor L.L.C. There were no selling shareholders.
The company’s three Web-sites – garden.com, virtualgarden.com and hortmag.com – provide clients with access to gardening information and resources, products to purchase, gardening advice and an on-line gardening community.
Garden.com plans to use the expected $44.5 million generated from the IPO to obtain additional capital, create a public market for its common stock and facilitate future access to public markets. The company also will use a portion of the proceeds for marketing and sales, content and product development, working capital and capital expenditures, such as upgrading computer systems and architecture. A portion of the proceeds might be used to acquire technology or businesses that complement its own business.
Garden.com has never been profitable, losing $4.7 million in 1998 and $19.1 million in 1999.
John Thornton, a general partner at Austin, joined the company’s board of directors in December 1995. Donald Phillips, managing general partner at Phillips-Smith, followed in August 1996. Gerald Gallagher, a general partner at Oak, and Douglas Stern, president and chief executive officer at Scripps, both joined in May 1997. Steven Dietz, a principal at Global, joined in June 1998.
Garden.com – Selected Financial
(in thousands, except per share data)
Year Ended June 30
1997 1998 1999
Total revenue 316 1,339 5,394
Net loss -2,440 -4,684 -19,059
Net loss per share -2.44 -4.68 -20.48