Stitch Fix, the six-year-old personal styling service, is planning to go public this week at a valuation as high as $2 billion. The company has been lauded for generating nearly $1 billion in revenue, achieving several years of profitability, and only taking $42.5 million in venture funding. Much of this success has been attributed to CEO Katrina Lake. On the Stitch Fix website, Lake is described as the company’s sole founder, and Lake is generally the public face of the brand in the media.
However, as the Wall Street Journal reports, Lake actually had a cofounder, Erin Morrison Flynn, who was listed as the chief merchandizing officer. Back in 2012, after Stitch Fix had received some venture funding, Lake asked Flynn to give up some of her ownership of the company to distribute shares to new hires. In court documents, Flynn accuses Lake of trying to preserve her own state at Flynn’s expense. When Flynn sought legal counsel, she claims that Lake retaliated by forcing her out of the company. Lake denied these allegations and the two settled the lawsuit out of court, although the terms if the settlement have not be disclosed.
WSJ notes that Flynn no longer appears on any company documents, except as a brief footnote in the IPO filing. Flynn continues to describes herself as “cofounder at Stitch Fix” on her LinkedIn page.ES