The IPO of Olaplex, the bond-building hair brand, is off to a strong start.
Olaplex’s stock started trading on the Nasdaq at nearly $25, ahead of the intended $21 debut, raising about $1.8 billion for the growing hair care business. That price gives the company a valuation of around $16 billion. The stock closed at $24.50.
Founded in 2014, Olaplex created the bond-building category. Olaplex’s products rebuild the bonds of hair, which helps repair damage. The business holds many patents, and gained popularity initially in the professional hair community, where its products could be used as a tool to more dramatically color and bleach hair without excessive damage. Today, Olaplex has many products for the professional community, but also has a retail product line sold online and with Sephora.
Chief executive officer JuE Wong said the IPO validated the company’s thesis around hair care.
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“Hair is no longer just a moment, hair is going the way of skin care. It is now a movement. The skinification of hair, the premiumization of hair and the ritualization of hair are gaining momentum. Olaplex is fortunate because we have the advantage of first mover, but we really have functional products, scientifically backed patents, proven and patented formulas, which is all encompassing into a hair care technology system that delivers the healthiest hair possible,” she said in a Thursday interview.
She said for the foreseeable future, Olaplex will continue to focus on hair care and communicating its sustainability priorities, but that its patents also have applications in the skin and nail category.
“We are the skin care for hair care,” Wong said. “We are going to continue our path of going deeper and broader into the hair care space because we believe there’s so much more headroom and runway for us.”
“With the IPO, the whole idea is to drive further awareness for Olaplex. We are ready as a company, you’ve seen our results, and I feel like the team deserves this moment in time,” Wong said.
Olaplex posted a 90 percent jump in sales in 2020, during the pandemic, to $282.3 million, from $148.2 million in net sales in 2019. So far this year, the company’s sales have more than doubled, and for the first six months of 2021, Olaplex posted a 171 percent net sales increase with $270.2 million in sales.
Wong said the IPO “felt really good.”
“I told everybody on the team that resonate on Wall Street now, but we have always resonated on Main Street. I feel really good that this brand, when we started, we had both — critical acclaim, we won all these awards — but we also had box office success, with all this revenue that we generated. By being where we are today, we have that much more responsibility to the community that got us here, which is the hair care professionals. They have been standing with us, and we will continue to stand by them.”
Olaplex was acquired by Advent International in 2019. The company’s technology was developed by Dean Christal.
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