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Shoemaker Allbirds reportedly in talks with banks for IPO as public market heats up

A woman walks past an Allbirds store in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021.

Al Drago | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The trendy shoe brand Allbirds is in the process of interviewing banks in preparation for an initial public offering, according to a report in the New York Times DealBook.

The direct-to-consumer company was last valued at roughly $1.7 billion.

A representative from Allbirds did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

It isn’t clear when Allbirds plans to go public, but an IPO would launch it into an already hot market, fueled by a recent slew of tech IPOs. Consumer-facing brands such as Jessica Alba’s Honest Company are now readying a debut. The eyeglass retailer Warby Parker and Panera’s parent company JAB Holdings are also reportedly looking to go public amid mounting investor enthusiasm post-pandemic for retail and restaurant brands.

During the health crisis, Allbirds has seen momentum for its products — including its iconic slip-on sneaker made out of wool and other sustainable materials — keep growing. The brand started with a cult-like following in Silicon Valley, which quickly spread to global recognition.

It has 23 stores today, according to its website, including locations in London, Berlin, Shanghai and Tokyo.

Last year, Allbirds launched its first running shoe, putting it up against bigger rivals including Nike and Adidas. It also has started selling various clothing, including socks, sweaters and jackets.

“A big focus for us is to try and make better products with less environmental impact,” Allbirds co-founder Tim Brown told CNBC in a recent interview. “The business has been extraordinarily resilient through a difficult period of time.”

Allbirds has raised more than $200 million to date, according to Crunchbase.

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