With Lyft (LYFT) and Pinterest (PINS) trading on the public markets, and Uber (UBER) and Slack (SK) following closely behind, consumer-facing startups are keeping close watch of their momentum and growth.
Bombas, a premium sock company that gives away a pair for every one it sells, has recently hit two major milestones: It exceeded $100 million in revenue in 2018 and has sold 20 million and given away 20 million pairs of socks. The company is also profitable, unlike the aforementioned companies that are still bleeding money.
“I very distinctly remember the very early days we were like, ‘We're going to get this company to $20 million of revenue. We're going to sell it to somebody, and then we're going to move on and start the next project because we don't know anything about managing a company that's bigger than $20 million, and the idea of having more than 30 employees seems crazy,” said David Heath, the 36-year-old co-founder and CEO of Bombas during an interview for Yahoo Finance's Breakouts series.
The philanthropic sock company, known for its Bumblebee logo and seamless toe design, first launched on Indiegogo in 2013, raising close to $150,000 on the crowdfunding platform. The following year, Heath and co-founder Randy Goldberg, now 40, appeared on “Shark Tank” and got the backing of retail mogul Daymond John.
The company currently has 80 employees and plans to double both headcount and revenue by the end of 2019. The NY-based company is moving its headquarters to a 33,300 square foot space, and it’s expanding its product portfolio — recently launching t-shirts as its second vertical.
“I think when we look at the future, we could easily be a billion-dollar brand in revenue in the next 5 to 10 years. We’re not necessarily thinking about, how we’re maximizing value for ourselves and our shareholders. We’re really thinking about how we build a brand that is going to be around for our grandkids?” he said.
In terms of creating a legacy for the company, Heath looks to the likes of Patagonia, a B Corp, which is a certification that for-profit businesses receive for “meeting the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.”
Regarding exact plans for exit, Heath said he’s not thinking about that just yet.
“How do we build a business that will outlast us? Whether that means that we IPO as a way of getting more capital and growing the business that way à la Under Armour and Lululemon or building and getting acquired by a Nike like Hurley did ... or some of the other brands like VF Corp, we'll do whatever we think is right for the brand to, you know, survive and flourish,” he said.
Melody Hahm is a senior writer at Yahoo Finance, covering entrepreneurship, technology and real estate. Follow her on Twitter @melodyhahm. She hosts Breakouts, a monthly interview series for Yahoo Finance featuring up-close and intimate conversations with today’s most innovative business leaders.