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Two, Like, Wicked Kewl IPOs

So like, the other day I was in this chat room, and like - well, first off, there were some really kewl peeps in there - and somebody says - I think he was a venture capitalist or something, but he was pretending he was Leo's brother, like, as if - and he says, "Y'know, fashionmall.com is going public."

And I thought to myself, "Fashionmall.com? This could be way kewl for my portfolio! I'm light on retail plays."

So I go to my Internet Investing bookmark folder - the one I disguised by re-naming it "Gen Y Advice" to fool my parents - like "duh!" - and come to find out the company hopes to raise $21 million in an offering of 3 million shares on Nasdaq under the symbol FASH. Underwriter is Gruntal & Co. (Ugh! Sounds like my dad.)

Anyway, I knew peeps could go to fashionmall.com to buy kewl clothes, shoes and make-up and stuff. What I didn't know is the New York-based start-up saw its revenues increase from $219,000 in 1996 to $2.1 million last year. That's not as kewl as it sounds, though, because half of the revenues came from trading advertising space with other Web sites. Like, I think they call it bartering, which is like credit cards - it's not really money.

Fashionmall.com also managed to eke out a $14,000 profit last year. I know, like, big deal, right? That would barely buy me a Dodge Neon, if I could drive. Still, that's better than most Internet companies do.

The only bad thing about fashionmall.com is they have lots of stuff for old people, like my sister in college. Y'know, Liz Claiborne, stuff like that. (If my dad ever buys some Dockers there, just kill me.) I guess, like, if you're investing in the company, that's probably a good thing. Just don't rub your wrinkly old IP packets against mine. Gross!

OK, OK, OK, so later I was trolling in this Backstreet Boys/tech stocks newsgroup when word gets out that Alloy Online also filed an IPO this week. This is wicked kewl, because Alloy's Web site is geared more toward, y'know, dope dudes and fly girls, not a bunch of 40-year-old grandmothers.

Anyway, so, anyway, Alloy wants to raise $46 million and trade under the Nasdaq symbol ALOY.

What's kewl about this is that, while fashionmall.com makes most of its revenue by charging "rent" to tenant stores that sell stuff through the site, Alloy Online is just, like, y'know, a kewl place. There are chat rooms to chill in, message boards to check out, and music news and videos to momentarily distract us from our vapid existence. There's even a place where you can get help with your homework. As if.

While Alloy says it will increase advertising and sponsorship revenue, right now it makes most of its money selling kewl clothes and music and subscriptions to awesome magazines and stuff. And lots of kids go to the site. Traffic rose from 1.5 million in February 1998 to 17 million last month, Alloy reports. And revenues grew from $1.8 million in '97 to $10.2 million last year. You go, girl!

One problem, I must say, is the company, also located in New York, lost $6.4 million and has an accumulated deficit of $8.3 million since it started in January '96. That's OK, though, because they can just print more money, right?

Funny thing is, Alloy says it is targeting the "Generation Y demographic," which they say is guys and chicks from ages 10 to 24, like that other company, iTurf, which is, like, also going public.

Like, c'mon, you corporate peeps! Don't you understand that our generation defies labels? We're not "consumers" like you loozers, we only buy stuff that we really think is kewl, or if one of our kewl friends has it, or if we think we won't be kewl if we don't buy it, not to be part of some stupid trend.

Anyway, I gotta go. The Korn concert that's being Webcast tonight starts in a few minutes, and I gotta get a credit card so I can order it. Oh Dad...

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