Everything you need to know about Made.com

Online furniture retailer Made.com enjoyed record revenues during the pandemic, and now plans to go public. Discover more about the company’s fortunes ahead of its IPO.

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What is Made.com?

Made.com is an online furniture and homewares retailer based in the UK. It works with independent designers and producers to supply goods directly from manufacturer to consumer, minimising the extra cost of middlemen.

The company was started in 2010 by Lastminute.com founder Brent Hoberman and serial entrepreneur Ning Li. After receiving early funding rounds of £2.5 million and £6 million, the business was able to set up showrooms and expand its service throughout Europe over the following years. It raised a further round of $60 million (£38 million) in 2015 to accelerate its growth on the continent further, with another round of £40 million successfully secured in 2018.

As of 2021, Made.com employs around 600 people globally, and posted 2019 revenues of £212 million, with around a million customers shopping with the business over the period. The company also boasts more than a million Instagram followers. 

How does Made.com make money?

Made.com makes money through the sale of furniture and homeware. The company offers pieces manufactured around the world, supporting emerging designers and targeting a modern tech-savvy consumer through its use of influencers and brand advocates.  

Is Made.com profitable?

Made.com is not currently profitable. While the business recorded its first profit in 2017, losses have mounted since then, with Companies House accounts showing a £19.6 million loss for the 2019 financial year. This compares to a loss of £4.5 million for the year prior.

However, the deepening losses can be explained by the investments the company has made in operational capacity, with three new warehouses launched to position the business for the next phase of growth. There have also been improvements in the company’s technology, website and logistics.

Who are Made.com’s competitors?

Made.com has a suite of competitors across the online and brick and mortar (B&M) space. Chief among its online rivals is US-based operator Wayfair, which owns four other furniture brands, while Ikea is an obvious competitor in the B&M stores market. Oak Furnitureland, Swyft, and Loaf, are just a few of the operators jostling for position in this crowded marketplace.

What is Made.com’s strategy?

Made.com’s strategy from the beginning was to appeal to a ‘digitally native’ audience comfortable with buying big-ticket furniture items online, offering high-end design without the markup. However, it also saw the importance of running showrooms to give customers a much-needed physical assessment of its products.

The European expansion involved launching eight of these showrooms, designed to mimic real homes and described by the company’s chief creative officer as ‘brand experiences’ rather than shops. As well as working with influencers and brand advocates, Made.com’s marketing campaigns have often run on user-generated content, inviting customers to share visuals of the company’s products in their own homes. 

With the proceeds of an IPO, Made.com will likely have its sights set on expanding further in Europe, following a period of record revenues for the company.

Who are the directors of Made.com?

Made.com has a number of key personnel that have helped progress the company to its current multi-million pound turnover. Here are some of them.

Position

Name

Co-founder, Non Executive director

Brent Hoberman

Co-founder, Vice Chairman

Ning Li

Co-founder

Julien Callede

CEO

Phillipe Chainieux

Chief Financial Officer

Adrian Evans

Chief Commercial Officer

Annabel Jack

When is the Made.com IPO?

The Made.com IPO is pencilled in for the London Stock Exchange later in 2021, although the date is as yet unspecified. JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Liberum have reportedly been hired to explore the flotation. The valuation of the company could be as much as £1 billion.

Interested in trading more upcoming flotations? Take a look at some of the other top IPOs for 2021.

How much is Made.com worth?

While, as mentioned above, an IPO could value Made.com at £1 billion, it’s difficult to say how much the company is worth prior to a listing, beyond speculation based on its financials. The most recent major fundraise for the company, the 2008 £40 million round, helped the business gain international marketing traction, but while significant outlays have been made on warehousing, technology and logistics, profitable periods have been few and far between since the company began.

Potential investors will be interested in the likelihood of these significant investments paying dividends in the years following the IPO.

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