Hyderabad: Even as just concluded US visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi showed the strength of Indian American community, a new star with Indian origin, Niraj Shah, has risen on the horizons of American business after Wayfair the company that he co-founded was valued at $3 billion on its debut.
While the exact amount of shares held by Mr Shah is not known, Bloomberg claims 98.5 per cent shares, with voting rights, are owned by the current promoters, who include co-founders Mr Shah and Steven Conine and a few private investment firms.Mr Shah, a second generation Indian American, did his schooling in Pittsfield High School and graduated in science from Cornell University.
Founded in 2002 by Mr Shah and Mr Conine, Wayfair is based in Boston and sells home furnishing online. It was initially run as a group of websites including bedroomfurniture.com and allbarstools.com that were eventually consolidated into Wayfair.com. The company changed its name to Wayfair from CSN Stores LLC in 2011.The shares of Wayfair gained 24 per cent to $36.01 less than two hours after its debut on New York Stock Exchange, after the IPO was priced at $29.
The company’s debut comes after the blockbuster listing of Chinese e-commerce juggernaut Alibaba Group Holding Ltd in New York and the strong debut of Europe’s online fashion retailer Zalando SE. Wayfair competes mainly with Williams-Sonoma Inc , the operator of potterybarn.com and PBteen.com. It also competes with brick and mortar retailers such as Bed Bath & Beyond Inc, Lowe’s Cos Inc and Target Corp as well as online sellers including Amazon.com Inc and eBay Inc.