So Soho House went public this week. It is now trading on the NYSE under the ticker $MCG. It renamed itself the Membership Collective Group Inc. for the IPO given the myriad of brands that the company now operates. The company went public at $14 a share and with a $2.8 billion valuation. It raised $420 million through the offering.
My first reaction when I heard the news was that going public is maybe at odds with being a cool, urban, and exclusive membership club. We’re all about creatives; also, buy our stock. But maybe I’m wrong. This is just the company maturing. At 26 years old, the company now has some 119,000 members and has 30 Soho Houses around the world in 12 different countries.
Full disclosure: I am a member and a big fan of Soho House.
But now that the company is public, we also know that it has never turned a profit. And it hopes to do that by next year, as well as open some five to seven new Soho Houses each year while trying to remain “asset light”. As the company does this and pushes toward profitability, there is, of course, a very natural question about what that does to the experience and the overall brand.
Does it get diluted at all?
I don’t think that necessarily needs to be the case. But of course the company will end up evolving. On a related note, if anyone from Soho House / MCG is reading this post (unlikely), I would love to connect about an opportunity here in the Toronto area. I think it has the potential to become something truly remarkable — not to mention, much needed. I can be reached, here.