NEW YORK — Northern Star Acquisition Corp. announced June 1 it has completed its merger with Barkbox, Inc. (BARK). The company has been renamed “The Original BARK Company” and began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on June 2 under the ticker symbol “BARK.”
Northern Star first announced its intentions to merge with BARK and make it a publicly traded company in December 2020. At that time, Northern Star estimated the enterprise value of BARK to be $1.6 billion.
BARK received roughly $427 million in cash proceeds related to the merger. Those funds will be used to expand the subscription-based company’s pet food, health and product lines, support continued growth of its toy and treat subscriptions, expand services to new customers in the United States and abroad, and boost cross-selling opportunities.
Manish Joneja, chief executive officer of BARK, will lead the company with Matt Meeker, Henrik Werdelin and Carly Strife, the original founders of the company. Meeker will now serves as executive chairman.
"It is a special day for BARK and our passionate employees as we enter the public markets and continue to deliver on our mission of making all dogs happy through the best products, services and content," Joneja said. "The closing of our merger with Northern Star provides us with the platform to bring our renowned BarkBox and Super Chewer toy and treat subscription lines to even more customers, while scaling our newer, high-potential BARK Eats, BARK Bright, and BARK Home initiatives. By building deep, personalized relationships with dogs and their parents, we believe BARK will continue to gain meaningful market share and grow to be synonymous with all things dogs worldwide."
Joanna Coles, a media and technology executive, chairperson and chief executive officer of Northern Star, will also guide the company as a member of its board of directors, alongside Jonathan Ledecky, chief operating officer at Northern Star.
"The global pet care industry presents a massive, rapidly expanding market opportunity, but remains in the early stages of innovation and disruption. BARK, through its unmatched customer engagement, vertically integrated and data-driven product development, and omni-channel sales approach including subscription services and retail partnerships, is uniquely positioned to capitalize on this opportunity. We are tremendously proud of the Company's talented, execution-oriented team and are confident in BARK's ability to create long-term shareholder value while making the world a happier, healthier place for dogs."
In February, Northern Star released BARK’s preliminary fiscal 2021 third-quarter financial results, which included $105 million in revenue, up 78% from its third quarter in fiscal 2020, increased subscription shipments by 47% to 1.1 million compared to year-ago, and new subscriptions up 66% to 381,000 compared to the same period.
BARK 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.
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