Why Honest Company’s Value May Have Dropped

The Honest Company has reportedly been in talks to sell itself at a price well below its last valuation of $1.7 billion. Some back-of-the-envelope math gives a hint why its valuation may have come down—and suggests investors will make out fine anyway.

Investors who bought in at that higher valuation might have been banking on Honest Co. undercutting traditional rivals by selling items like diapers directly to consumers on a subscription plan. While the company offers subscription sales, a big chunk of its sales are reportedly done through brick-and-mortar stores like Target. “I think they look a lot more like just a very innovative but typical CPG brand,” said David Pakman, a partner at Venrock, which is not an investor in the company.

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In the less likely case of an IPO, investors in Honest Co.’s last round would see their losses capped at 26% on the IPO pricing due to protections tied to their stock, while investors in the $1 billion round are guaranteed a gain of 25% on IPO pricing.

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