Term Sheet

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Why the tech press is ignoring Zulily's huge IPO

November 14, 2013: 7:48 PM ET

Zulily is going public tomorrow at a $2.6 billion valuation. Read all about it here, because no one else seems to care.


FORTUNE -- It has been more than an hour since Zulily (ZU), a flash sales site focused on children and mothers, announced that it has raised $253 million in its IPO. This should be a very big deal among the tech press. Four-year old ecommerce company now valued at more than $2.6 billion -- a number that is almost certain to climb once its shares begin trading tomorrow. Oh, and it priced well above its IPO range.

But, as of this moment, there is not a single mention on All Things D, PandoDaily, TechCrunch or VentureBeat. Not even a notation on Techmeme's homepage.

So why the blanket avoidance. Here are my four theories, none of which are mutually exclusive:

1. It's not based in Silicon Valley or New York.

Zulily is headquartered in the rainy burg of Seattle, where few tech reporters even visit, let alone live (sorry Arrington, you don't count anymore). In fact, I'd bet a decent number of these folks believe Amazon (AMZN) is based in Palo Alto.

2. Not too many tech reporters have kids

The typical tech reporter -- or at least the type assigned to IPO write-ups -- is young and, generally, childless. In other words, not someone who would have ever used Zulily. This isn't a social media app like Snapchat that anyone can try once or twice. If you aren't in the market for kid's clothing or toys, you have no reason to sample.

3. It makes money.

Zulily is (barely) profitable. It's also growing, with $439 million in revenue over the first nine months of 2013, compared to $202 million for the year-earlier period (and, of course, Q4 is when it makes its largest dollars). In other words, it's a real business. Bo-ring.

4. Its co-founders are in their 40s, and have done this before.

Zulily was founded by CEO Darrell Cavens (40 years old) and chairman Mark Vadon (43 years old). And they've both done this before with Blue Nile (NILE). So no questions about if they're mature enough to run a publicly-traded company, nor any gossipy tales of backstabbing and option-grafting.  Good for shareholders, bad for Valleywag.

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Dan Primack
Dan Primack
Senior Editor, Fortune

Dan Primack joined Fortune.com in September 2010 to cover deals and dealmakers, from Wall Street to Sand Hill Road. Previously, Dan was an editor-at-large with Thomson Reuters, where he launched both peHUB.com and the peHUB Wire email service. In a past journalistic life, Dan ran a community paper in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He currently lives just outside of Boston.

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