IPO Watch: The Health and Fitness Companies Going Public This Year

Health and fitness companies are lining up to go public.

Record highs. Despite the pandemic, 2020 was a banner year for initial public offerings — IPOs were up 36% and deal proceeds reached 70%. In the first six months of 2021, IPOs have raised a record $350B.

Hoping the market stays hot, health- and fitness-focused brands are lining up to cash in.

Exercise. Entering this year, there were three publicly traded fitness companies. Soon, there could be 10. The latest? Stepping up, Echelon is exploring an IPO among other strategic options. Bowing out, Equinox ended its SPAC talks.

Eats. After raising $670M in funding, earning a $1.8B valuation, salad chain Sweetgreen confidentially filed to go public. Eyeing a $2B valuation, online grocer Thrive Market is weighing an IPO. Another confidential filing, Greek yogurt maker Chobani could be valued at $10B in a public offering.

Add two plant-based brands to the list of potential IPOs, with Impossible Foods and Eat Just targeting 2021 listings valued near $10B and $3B, respectively.

The list goes on… Vita Coco owner All Market Inc. is planning a $2B IPO. Zevia, makers of sugar-free soda, is going public. Recently valued at $4B, weight loss app Noom aims to be worth $10B in a public listing. And, with implications across healthcare and wellness, three psychedelic drug makers have gone public this year.

The big picture: On the Fitt Insider podcast, HumanCo founder and CEO Jason Karp discussed the opportunity for publicly traded health and wellness companies:

“There just aren’t enough public options for investors who really care about ESG [Environmental, Social, and Governance], sustainability, and mission… Companies like Beyond Meat have garnered a huge amount of attention and public excitement. But there’s so much money and interest from people to invest in the things they believe in — things that are trying to make this world a better place. There just aren’t a lot of options.” 

Echoing this sentiment and anticipating more activity in this space, Brett Thomas, managing partner of CAVU Venture Partners, said it’s still early days for the category:

“Health and wellness is not a fad. We’re never going back. We’re in the first or second inning of this wave of great health, wellness, and ESG companies going public.“

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