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E-Commerce Platform BigCommerce Prepares for IPO

By Evan Niu, CFA – Jul 15, 2020 at 10:00AM

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The company has filed its public S-1 Registration Statement with the SEC.

Shopify (SHOP 3.70%) has been among the prominent e-commerce companies to inadvertently benefit from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has pushed both merchants and shoppers online. Shopify has already seen its shares more than double year to date. The time could be right for smaller peer BigCommerce to go public, and the company has now publicly filed its S-1 Registration Statement with the SEC, a little less than a month after it reportedly filed confidentially.

Here's what investors need to know about the forthcoming e-commerce play.

BigCommerce logo

Image source: BigCommerce.

A smaller e-commerce platform

BigCommerce, founded in 2009 and based in Austin, Texas, is quite a bit smaller than Shopify but utilizes a similar software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, offering merchant customers a suite of services as part of a subscription. Both companies primarily cater to small and medium-sized business (SMB) customers and pricing is nearly identical across three main tiers that range from around $30 per month to $300 per month.

The filing shows that BigCommerce is looking to raise approximately $100 million through an IPO, although this placeholder figure will likely be updated. The company had previously raised a little over $200 million in private funding rounds, according to Crunchbase. The stock is expected to trade under the ticker symbol "BIGC."

There are approximately 60,000 online storefronts on the platform across 120 countries. Here's an overview of BigCommerce's income statement over the past two years.

Income Statement Metric




$91.9 million

$112.1 million

Gross profit

$69.9 million

$85.1 million

Operating loss

($38 million)

($41 million)

Net loss

($38.9 million)

($42.6 million)

Adjusted EBITDA

($34.1 million)

($35.5 million)

Data source: S-1.

Revenue in the first quarter of 2020 grew 30% to $33.2 million, which translated into an operating loss of $7.5 million. BigCommerce finished Q1 with $33 million in cash and cash equivalents and had $71.7 million in total long-term debt (including the current portion due within the next year). Of that debt, $20 million was borrowed under an existing revolver.

BigCommerce also discloses other key metrics, including annual revenue run rate (ARR), accounts with annual contract value (ACV) of over $2,000, average revenue per account (ARPA), and net revenue retention (NRR).


Q1 2020


$137.1 million

Accounts with ACV greater than $2,000


ARPA for accounts with ACV greater than $2,000


Data source: S-1.

NRR for accounts with ACV greater than $2,000 was 106% in 2019. Investors like to see this common SaaS metric above 100%, which indicates that the company is expanding relationships with existing customers.

BigCommerce has two different share classes, Series 1 and Series 2. This isn't one of those scenarios where insiders use a dual-share class structure to secure outsize voting power. On the contrary, Series 1 shares (which are the ones being offered to the public) will get one vote per share, while Series 2 shares get no votes.

The first version of the S-1 still has a lot of blanks to fill in, so prospective investors should keep an eye out for subsequent amended filings for more details in the weeks ahead.

Evan Niu, CFA owns shares of Shopify. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Shopify. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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