As anyone who follows fashion knows, Kim Kardashain’s Skims shapewear brand is at the height of popularity.
More than five million people follow it on Instagram for the latest product drops while items such as the “No Show” bra and long slip dress routinely sell out both online and at department stores like Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue.
It is on the heels of this success that founder Kim Kardashian, who leveraged her popularity as a socialite and mega-influencer to grow the brand, is reportedly eyeing an IPO.
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Skims Funding Round Could Be Last Before IPO
As first reported by Reuters, Kardashian is currently in talks with Boston-based investment firm Wellington Management over a pre-IPO funding round that may place valuation at around $4 billion.
Sources close to the matter revealed that Wellington is preparing to make a “significant contribution” to get the company ready for a future IPO. The body and underwear line that Kardashian launched in 2019 reportedly brought in $500 million in 2022 and, at the start of that year, raised $240 million in a funding round led by hedge fund Lone Pine Capital.
Current reports also say that this could be the final funding round before the company goes public. Skims’ viral success can largely be attributed to Kardashian’s ability to leverage both her name and technology to not only promote Skims items but also interact with customers and make them feel like they are part of something new and exclusive.
“All these private companies are on a PR tear and it’s even easier when a big name is involved,” Forrester Retail Analyst Sucharita Kodali told Forbes in February 2022.
What’s Behind Kardashian’s Brand Success?
In 2021, Kardashian officially became a billionaire after a series of investments pushed valuation estimates of an empire that also includes beauty and perfume lines and a very successful mobile game above the 10-figure market.
Some of the other investors to pour money into Skims include D1 Capital Partners, Thrive Capital, Imaginary Ventures and Alliance Consumer Growth.
“We have been continuously impressed by Skims’ ability to connect with consumers on a personal level and keep them coming back for more,” Thrive Partner Nabil Mallick said in a 2021 statement.
At the time, Kardashian also said that the latest round would allow Skims to “focus on bringing more innovations and solutions to our customers and become even more of a trusted resource for them” in an email to Bloomberg.
Co-founder and chief executive Jens Skims also previously said that “Skim deserves to be a public company when the time is right.”
Skims is currently also planning to open its first brick-and-mortar flagship store in Los Angeles later in the year as well as a second store in New York.
Following Nordstrom’s tracks, Saks Fifth Avenue has also only recently hopped aboard with selling Skims pieces. The department store dedicated a large section of the fifth floor at its flagship New York location to Skims last May — while Saks Fifth Avenue has begun gradually expanding the number of its locations that sell Skims, the shapewear line is still seen primarily as a digital brand that rose to prominence through the power of social media and Kardashian’s celebrity.