BarkBox is a subscription service provider of products for dogs and dog owners. The Wall Street Journal reported that the company is merging with Northern Star Acquisition Corp. in a $1.6 billion deal. BarkBox will go public through this blank-check company. There has been a growing trend for startups to go public through a SPAC.
Stockholders must still approve the merger. If all goes well, the IPO could happen in the second quarter of 2021. Executive Chairman Matt Meeker said, “As a result of this merger, we will accelerate our ability to scale the Bark platform worldwide,” according to BizJournals.
BarkBox wasn't on Shark Tank
BarkBox was founded in 2012 to sell dog-related products like dog toys, treats, food, accessories, and dental products. BarkBox wasn't featured on the show Shark Tank.
BarkBox operates similarly to PupBox, which is a service that provides training information and products to new puppy owners. The PupBox founders appeared on Shark Tank and gave each investor a golden retriever puppy during the pitch. Later, Petco acquired PupBox.
Recently, Manish Joneja, a former Amazon executive, was appointed as BarkBox's CEO. He succeeded Matt Meeker as the CEO, who co-founded BarkBox and continues to serve as executive chairman, according to PRNewsWire. Joneja said, “My hope is to make BARK the partner for all dog parents for all stages of their dog's life.”
BarkBox is going public through a SPAC
BarkBox has merged with Northern Star Acquisition Corp. in a $1.6 billion deal to go public. Northern Star Acquisition Corp. is a SPAC. Many companies have chosen to go public through a SPAC in 2020 including SoftBank, Playboy, DraftKings, Arrival, and Nikola.
The deal with Northern Star will likely raise $454 million, according to The Wall Street Journal. The funding will be earmarked for overseas expansion and continued development of new and existing products for the company.
BarkBox’s IPO date
BarkBox’s merger with the SPAC Northern Star was announced in mid-December and the IPO could happen by the second quarter of 2021, but a definitive date hasn't been determined.
Is BarkBox worth it for customers?
Currently, about 1 million active customers subscribe to BarkBox. Customers can also purchase BarkBox merchandise through traditional retailers like Target and Petco. The cost is slightly lower than PupBox. Convenience may make BarkBox worth the cost for devoted dog owners.
BarkBox claims to provide at least $40 worth of toys, treats, and other products for dogs in each monthly subscription box. Buying one box at a time is $35, while longer subscriptions decrease the monthly price. A six-month plan costs $26 per month, while a 12-month plan is $23 per month with free contiguous U.S. shipping.
BarkBox expects to reach $365 million in revenue for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2021, according to The Wall Street Journal. The company’s valuation is about $1.6 billion including debt.
How to buy the BarkBox SPAC IPO
BarkBox's IPO through a SPAC means that investors will be able to purchase shares on the NYSE under the ticker symbol "BARK."