All it took was the investment capital, and the prime retail real estate footprint, of one large strategic brick-and-mortar player.
Several sources confirm management of the mens clothing online retailer has indicated the company is now profitable and could be looking at an initial public offering as early as 2014.
One source familiar with Bonobos plans suggested next year it could push its revenue into the $80 million to $100 million range, depending on projections coming out of the 2013 holiday season. At comparative multiples for other IPOs in the space Bonobos could be worth $1 billion when it goes public.
Though a company spokeswoman declined to discuss revenue figures, she said, in an e-mail, that the company was considering an IPO, but more likely not until 2015.
To date, the company has raised more than $70 million from boldface VC names like Accel Partners and Felicis Ventures$30 million of that coming in a fundraising round earlier this year. But, beginning in 2012, when Bonobos took on Nordstrom (JWN) as a financing partner, is when the company's small yet powerful physical retail presence began to develop.
At the time the Nordstroms partnership was announced, only about 20 of the retailers locations carried the Bonobos line. That has since grown to about 80 of the retailers 117 full-line locations, according to a Nordstrom spokesman.
A trip to Bonobos isn't exactly the run-of-the-mill shopping experience: guideshops, where a personal ninja (the company's moniker for its style consultants) will guide you sans sword through an array of choices, a dressing room and an electronic checkout. Along with the Nordstrom locations, the company operates standalone stores, making the most of limited square footage by using its Flatiron headquarters as a duplicate location with fitting rooms.