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Denver-based Ibotta files to go public in $100 million stock offering

After providing consumers with more than $1.8 billion back in cash offers, Denver-based Ibotta Inc. is pursuing a long-anticipated cash-out from Wall Street, according to the company’s registration statement filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.

The consumer rebate platform, one of Colorado’s best-known technology firms, plans to raise $100 million in equity, which if successful would end a dry streak for initial public offerings in the state.

Ibotta provides cash-back rewards to consumers who purchase from the more than 2,400 consumer goods brands it promotes. It also provides white-label rewards programs for large retailers like Walmart, Kroger and Shell.

The company generated $320 million in revenues last year, representing an annual sales growth rate of 52%. It turned a profit of $32.1 million, reversing a loss of $54.9 million in 2022. Ibotta became a rare Colorado unicorn or tech startup valued above $1 billion in 2019.

CEO and founder Bryan Leach said in a letter in the offering statement that he came up with the idea for the company while on a flight back from a legal conference in Brazil. A woman was photographing receipts on her phone so she could submit them for reimbursement.

He wondered what benefits consumers living paycheck to paycheck could reap if they could consolidate coupons and rebate offers in one location. In 2011 he launched the company, which has the motto “Make Every Purchase Rewarding,” in the windowless basement of an old downtown Denver fire station.

The company will have broad latitude to use the money raised “for general corporate purposes, including working capital, operating expenses, and capital expenditures,” or translated in another way — how it sees fit.

“We cannot specify with certainty the particular uses of the net proceeds that we will receive from this offering,” Ibotta wrote.

The company directs ads and promotions to users of its app and website. Rather than having to clip coupons or juggle rebate offers from multiple manufacturers and retailers, Ibotta consolidates them in one place for consumers, while also offering product makers and retailers a more efficient way to reach those consumers.

On a $5 box of cereal, an Ibotta user might receive $1.30 back in cash after purchase, while the manufacturer sends another 80 cents to Ibbota for making the connection. That can provide a better return than printing or mailing out tens of thousands of coupons, most of which won’t be used.

There has been a resurgence in U.S. IPOs this year, with 30 raising a combined $7.8 billion, according to Renaissance Capital, a provider of pre-IPO investment research. Half of those offerings raised $100 million or more, the most in a single quarter since 2021.

Technology IPOs have also garnered renewed interest with listings from social media platform Reddit and semiconductor manufacturer Astera Labs.

Colorado’s last IPO of note was Solid Power, a Louisville-based maker of solid-state battery cells, which went public in December 2021 via a merger with Decarbonization Plus Acquisition Corporation III.

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