It was a quick turn and a big come down on Wall Street for Poshmark, which agreed to a $1.2 billion buyout from Naver, South Korea’s largest internet company.
But that was a different world.
When Poshmark went public, the COVID-19 pandemic was still keeping people close to home, the U.S. government was stoking consumers with stimulus spending and e-commerce was all the rage among investors.
Now inflation, war and supply chain troubles have hit the stock market hard — and although Poshmark’s asset-lite, peer-to-peer business model shields it from the direct impact of those disruptions, its stock has suffered.
The acquisition price of $17.90 a share represents a 34 percent premium to the company’s 30-day volume-weighted average price. Still, Poshmark’s IPO priced at $42 a share and the stock ended its first day at $101.50, meaning many investors who bet on the company in an ultra hot market lost out.
For founder Manish Chandra, who will remain chief executive officer of the company under Naver, it’s on to greener pastures and fresh hopes for his vision of shopping that is both more sustainable and rooted in a social experience online.
Chandra called the chance to link with Naver “a testament to the strength of our brand, operating model, and what we’ve built over the last decade with our talented team and amazing community. Our industry continues to evolve at a rapid pace and we are excited to continue to lead the future of shopping by providing our community with an unparalleled experience that is simple, social, fun and sustainable.”
The CEO said Poshmark and its employees would gain under the umbrella of a larger company.
“As part of Naver, we will benefit from their financial resources, significant technology capabilities and leading presence across Asia to expand our platform, elevate our product and user experiences, and enter new and large markets,” Manish said.
Choi Soo-Yeon, CEO of Naver, said: “The combination will create the strongest platform for powering communities and re-fashioning commerce. Poshmark is the definitive brand for fashion in the United States that provides a social network for buying and selling apparel. Naver’s leading technology in search, AI recommendation and e-commerce tools will help power the next phase of Poshmark’s global growth.”
Poshmark has more than 80 million registered users and generated $2 billion in gross merchandise value last year.
At Naver, Poshmark taps into a multifaceted digital company with an e-commerce platform that drove over $25 billion in GMV last year.
The company said it is home to the largest number of bloggers in South Korea as well as the largest number of digital creators of stories, through Wattpad, and comics, through Webtoons, globally.
The company has more than 36 million monthly users of its search portal and online community services.
“The transaction will create a global player in online fashion re-commerce by combining Poshmark’s unique discovery-based social shopping platform and deeply engaged community with Naver’s technological prowess in upleveling the e-commerce experience,” the firm said.
Naver also has a Shopping Live solution that Poshmark will be able to use to “transform the shopping and selling experience” while “allowing for greater social networking and engagement.”