Mobile e-commerce startup Wish files IPO, claims 108 million users

Wish’s slogan is 'shopping made fun' and includes videos and games as part of the retail experience. — Shutterstock.com pic via AFP
Wish’s slogan is 'shopping made fun' and includes videos and games as part of the retail experience. — Shutterstock.com pic via AFP

NEW YORK, Nov 21 — The operator of the mobile e-commerce startup Wish filed documents for a share offering today, revealing a user base of more than 100 million.

The filing by US-based parent firm ContextLogic said the platform is looking to expand the business which up to now has been connecting merchants based mainly in China with consumers around the world.

Wish’s initial public offering (IPO) filing said it was the most downloaded shopping app and operated in more than 100 countries, having shipped more than 640 million items.

The startup said it had 108 million monthly active users at the end of September. It posted a loss of US$120 million (RM491.1 million) in the past quarter on revenue of US$1.7 billion.

Wish’s most recent valuation based on funding rounds was US$11.2 billion, but the Financial Times said the company is aiming for a richer value in the IPO of US$25 billion to US$30 billion.

Wish’s slogan is “shopping made fun” and includes videos and games as part of the retail experience.

“To enhance user engagement, we incorporate fresh gamified features, rich user-generated content including photos, videos, and reviews, and a wide range of relevant products to make shopping more entertaining,” the IPO filing said.

Its business has been focused so far on delivering goods at low prices from Chinese sellers, but has been expanding to bring in merchants from Europe, Latin America and North America.

“Through our diversified and global merchant base, we are able to offer greater depth and breadth of categories and products,” the filing said.

“For example, in 2019, four out of the top 10 selling merchants on our platform were located in the United States selling refurbished electronics, beauty products, and hobby items, which illustrates the ongoing diversification of our merchant base and product categories.”

The filing comes amid a wave of IPOs in the tech sector including from delivery startup DoorDash, gaming firm Roblox and home-sharing giant Airbnb.

Wish was founded by Polish-born Peter Szulczewski, who is the chief executive of the firm launched in 2010.

“I grew up in Soviet-controlled communist Poland in the 1980s where I learned first-hand what it is like to not have access to basic goods and services,” he said in the IPO filing.

“I founded Wish to help the underserved who have been neglected by existing e-commerce offerings.” — AFP

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