NEW YORK — Barkbox, Inc., an omnichannel platform for pet brands, is merging with Northern Star Acquisition Corp., which will result in a public listing for the pet company under the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol, BARK.
Northern Star estimated Barkbox’s enterprise value at $1.6 billion. The company, founded in 2012, is a dog-focused product platform offering custom and subscription-based monthly toy and treat boxes, as well as durable chew toys, everyday pet products, dental health and wellness products, and its own custom dog food service, BARK Eats.
The company works with leading US retailers including Amazon.com, Target, Petco, PetSmart and Costco to offer its subscription boxes to pet owners across the country. The company actively serves more than 1 million pet owners each month.
The combined company estimates Barkbox will reach approximately $365 million in revenue and $221 million in gross profit for its fiscal year ending March 31, 2021. It expects a $200 million private placement of common stock at $10.00 per share.
Barkbox’s shareholders and management will retain 100% of their equity in the combined company following the merger and public offering. Proceeds of the transaction will go toward accelerating the development of new and existing product lines, staffing, marketing and engineering personnel and capabilities, and the reduction of debt obligations, Northern Star reported.
"We are thrilled to partner with Northern Star as we enter our next phase of growth,” said Matt Meeker, co-founder of Barkbox. “…As a result of this merger, we will accelerate our ability to scale the BARK platform worldwide, add joy to the millions of dogs and families who love our products through our monthly subscription service and grow our omni-channel distribution. We are energized by the numerous growth opportunities ahead, which include expanding our product offerings and experiences, enhancing our robust customer engagement platform through the use of artificial intelligence and creating lasting memories for dog lovers."
The three co-founders of Barkbox —Meeker, Henrik Werdelin and Carly Strife — will continue to lead the company following the merger. Meeker will continue to lead the company as executive chairman, Werdelin will lead design, content and product development, and Strife will lead BARK Eats and other strategic initiatives.
The current chief executive officer of Barkbox, Manish Joneja, will continue as chief executive officer of the combined company. Joanna Coles, chairwoman and chief executive officer of Northern Star, will become president and chief operating officer. Jonathan Ledecky will also join the company’s board of directors, bringing more than 35 years of investment and operational experience to the table.
"BARK is a market-leading, consumer-focused, digital-first business that we believe is poised for long-term success,” Coles said. “The company's loyal customer base, strong brand resonance and passionate social following create exciting opportunities to further solidify BARK as a leading global brand for dogs… I believe BARK is a true disruptor in the space, with hard-to-replicate brand loyalty, proprietary products, robust economics and an attractive subscription and e-commerce business model that positions the company to continue to thrive in the years to come."
Trading will be led by Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC, Senator Investment Group, the Federated Hermes Kaufmann Funds, and affiliates of Santo Domingo Group, alongside other institutional investors.
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