Fintech & e-commerce

$100B For Fast Fashion Giant Shein?

Illustration of unicorns in a blessing.

Chinese fast-fashion giant Shein is considering raising money at a $100 billion valuation, Bloomberg reported this week.

It’s a lofty valuation–one that would rank it among the most highly valued private companies in the world.

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For those who haven’t shopped on the site or seen the “Shein hauls” on TikTok, Shein is a powerhouse in the world of fast fashion. It sells trendy clothing, beauty and home items for absurdly low prices.

The tradeoff is long shipping times and not-exactly-high-quality clothes (think Forever 21 without the retail footprint and less reliable sizing). But shoppers still love it, and Shein had no problem raising more than $550 million in funding from the likes of Sequoia Capital China and Tiger Global Management, according to Crunchbase data.

In case $100 billion sounds like a high valuation, I assure you it is. For context, I consulted the The Crunchbase Unicorn Board to find other private companies with comparable valuations. 

At $100 billion, Shein would be worth the same amount as SpaceX and a few billion more than Stripe (last valued at $95 billion). It would rank among the most highly valued companies in the world—just behind ByteDance ($180 billion) and Ant Group ($150 billion). And with Shein valued at $100 billion, that also means three of the four most highly valued private companies in the world are be based in China.

In terms of public companies, at $100 billion Shein would be worth more than most software companies, such aas Snowflake (market cap of $75 billion), Atlassian (market cap of $80 billion), and ADP (market cap of $98 billion). And of course, it’d be far ahead of Boohoo Group, the company that owns fast-fashion brands like Pretty Little Thing and Nasty Gal.

Bloomberg’s report is based on conversations with people familiar with the matter, so there’s always the chance that the fundraise doesn’t happen and Shein doesn’t get valued at that eye-popping amount. 

But if it’s true, it means investors are extremely bullish on what Shein can do in the world of e-commerce and fast fashion. The Washington Post cited a Morgan Stanley report that said Shein could do $20 billion in revenue in 2022, which would make it the world’s fourth-largest apparel retailer. Since the company’s based in China, it also has the additional benefit of certain tax loopholes contributing to the bottom line.

We’ll have to see if the funding and valuation pan out. Hopefully we’ll find out sooner than it takes to get an order from Shein.

Illustration: Dom Guzman


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