OnlyFans IPO Is Delayed Despite Growth, Platform Works to Temper Its Image

Anuradha Garg - Author
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Apr. 29 2022, Updated 12:59 p.m. ET

OnlyFans has gained a lot of popularity in recent years. Many fans want to know if OnlyFans will IPO anytime soon. So far, the bid to go public has been delayed.

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OnlyFans is a website that allows celebrities and regular people to create and share content. Users can access the content by paying a subscription or fee. While the website has a wide variety of content, adult material predominates the site. It's a very fast-growing content-based social media platform. Its popularity exploded during the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing lockdowns.

The OnlyFans business model has been successful.

OnlyFans' business model has been very successful. The website charges 20 percent of each subscription fee and pays the rest to content creators. Although the cut is higher than their peers, OnlyFans has still surpassed its peers such as Patreon. OnlyFans is easier to use and also provides more tools that many of its peers.

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OnlyFans is looking for potential SPAC partners.

Axios reported on March 29 that OnlyFans has held talks with several SPACs (special purpose acquisition companies) about a merger in a bid to go public. There have been rumors for several months regarding the company going for an IPO but nothing is set in stone. The website also mentioned that one of the SPACs contacted by OnlyFans was Forest Road Acquisition Corp. II. It's co-led by former Disney execs, but the two sides are no longer in talks.

Adult content is working as a dampener for OnlyFans' IPO plans.

OnlyFans' porn content is a major hurdle in the process to find investors and SPAC partners. Previously, OnlyFans has attempted to temper its image of being connected with adult content. In 2021, it announced plans to ban “sexually explicit” content. The company made the decision at the request of its banking and payout partners. Sex workers, who made the platform popular in the first place, weren't happy with the decision and raised concerns. Eventually, OnlyFans had to reserve its course.

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Since investors are hard to get, the company is trying to reposition itself as less of a porn platform. OnlyFans is focusing more on professional content such as cooking, comedy, and UFC fighting. The company will likely have to wait until it's accepted more widely and becomes a household name (or close to it). Public capital could give OnlyFans the chance to develop its offerings and create an even more holistic community.

OnlyFans' valuation is comparable to its competitors.

Cameo, a platform where fans can buy personalized videos from celebrities, is also valued at around $1 billion. While Cameo isn't a direct competitor, its similarity shows that OnlyFans isn't exactly extraordinary, despite its projected unicorn image. Facebook is currently developing a video product that could change the market significantly for OnlyFans and others.

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