Here’s Why One E-Commerce CEO Is In No Rush to Declare An IPO


Wayfair is decidedly less trendy than e-commerce compatriots like Fab, Bib+Tuck, Fancy, et al, but it may be a bit wiser. Founded in 2002, Wayfair is the longtime-baby of Niraj Shah, a Boston-based entrepreneur who says that he is no rush to snag IPO riches — mainly because he can make even more money by waiting.

According to Forbes, Wayfair pulled in over $600 million in revenue in 2012, and could very possibly eclipse $1 billion in revenue by the end of 2013. Shah — who graduated from Cornell and previously sold an Internet-consulting business in 1998 — says that Wayfair needs to execute some heavy marketing before considering an IPO, although he doesn’t seem interested in chasing the tails of “emotional commerce” sites like Fab.

Shah says that because Boston does not have regular blockbuster exits like NYC or Silicon Valley, entrepreneurs in Beantown are typically in a rush to “sell before they scale.” Wayfair most recently raised a $201 million VC round in 2011.

Nice to see an entrepreneur be modest about IPO ambitions, for a change — wonder if he would be pressured otherwise if he were in the Valley?