Deal Dive: Forecasting rain on DTC’s Parade
You don’t need me to tell you that startups haven’t been doing great since the funding slowdown and valuation reset started back in 2022. But while some companies will be able to survive on cash reserves or be propped up on inside funding, others will be forced to either liquidate or exit under less-than-ideal circumstances.
Such is the case with Parade, which earlier this week was acquired by Ariela & Associates International, a more prominent player in the intimates space. Ariela & Associates also owns Fruit of the Loom, if that gives you any indication of how prominent it is. Parade could not be reached for comment by press time.
Parade was founded in 2019 as a direct-to-consumer (DTC) startup that looked to go against the Victoria’s Secret–inspired norms of the intimates industry by offering sustainable, comfortable intimates in a wide range of sizing options. The startup was last valued at $203 million in September 2022, according to data from PitchBook, after raising $56 million in venture funding from firms such as Maveron, Vice Ventures and Lerer Hippeau, among others.
And while we don’t know the terms of the deal, it’s safe to assume that in today’s market, if a company were getting acquired for a solid exit, it would be shouting it from the rooftops. Investors would be putting out a press release to celebrate the return they made, and there would have been interviews booked in advance so the company could brag about how this was the perfect next step.
The lack of pomp and circumstance from the folks who had potential to make money off the deal is telling; we know better than to assume the best in a market like today’s.
I’m a journalist who specializes in investigative reporting and writing. I have written for the New York Times and other publications.