Kiwi-founded Allbirds footwear brand files for US initial public offering

It has backers like Leonardo DiCaprio.
It has backers like Leonardo DiCaprio. Photo credit: Supplied.

Franklin Templeton-backed Allbirds said on Tuesday it has filed for a U.S. initial public offering, as the footwear maker looks to cash in on the growing global demand and investor interest for sustainable products.

The company, which mentions the word "sustainability" 112 times in its regulatory filing, said it hopes to help pioneer a framework forcompanies to conduct what it called a "sustainable public equity offering".

Allbirds said as part of its IPO process an independent third-party assessed the company to determine whether it achieved certain environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals and followed best practices on climate response.

Other sustainability-focused startups that recently tapped into capital markets include Hollywood star Jessica Alba's Honest Co and Oprah Winfrey-backed Oatly Group AB . Plant-based burger maker Impossible Foods is looking to list through a blank-check merger, Reuters reported in April.

Founded by co-Chief Executive Officers Joseph Zwillinger and Timothy Brown, a former New Zealand soccer player, Allbirds is known for the use of sustainable materials in its products.

Brown researched and tinkered with the properties of merino wool and eventually teamed up with Zwillinger to craft a fabric made specifically for footwear.

Allbirds, whose backers include Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio, also uses a plant-based alternative to leather for its shoes. It has also partnered with Adidas to create a range of sustainable sneakers.

The company reported a more than 25% jump in net revenue for the first six months of 2021, while net loss widened to $21.1 million during the period.

Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan and BofA Securities are lead underwriters on the offering.