Chinese fashion retailer Shein is in talks to raise up to US$3 billion at a reduced valuation of $64 billion, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing people with knowledge of the negotiations.
The latest valuation would be nearly 36 per cent less than the $100 billion the company was reportedly valued at in a funding round last year.
Big tech and growth stocks bore the brunt of a prolonged rout last year, worsened by aggressive interest rate hikes that sent the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index down 33 per cent in 2022.
A selloff in global markets following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and subsequent Western sanctions served as a final blow, prompting companies, including Shein, to put their US listing plans on hold, Reuters reported last year.
The online retailer is seeking to close a new fundraising round from existing investors including Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala, venture capital group Sequoia China and private equity group General Atlantic, the report added.
“Shein denies the accuracy of some of the information,” a spokesperson said, declining to elaborate.
Shein, which does not sell in China, has grown into one of the world’s largest online fashion marketplaces since its 2008 launch in Nanjing. It produces clothing in China to sell online in the United States – its biggest market, Europe and Asia.
Items such as $10 dresses and $5 tops help draw hundreds of millions of visitors to its website each month.
The company raked in around $15.7 billion in revenue in 2021, and was valued at $50 billion earlier that year.
The company has long drawn criticism about working conditions along its supply chain. Its ultra-low prices and lack of transparency have also prompted labor watchdogs, including the Worker Rights Consortium and the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, to question how it produces its merchandise so cheaply.
- Reporting by Niket Nishant and Mehnaz Yasmin in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Shailesh Kuber, of Reuters.
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