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
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
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
HotWatch ’99 by Steve Harmon offers a monthly insight into the hottest stocks in the Internet, his top picks for 1999. Last year’s picks by Steve gained 312%. Each month a new report, delivered to you via emailclick here for more info –