BARK appoints IR lead
Subscription dog box company BARK has named Michael Mougias as its new vice president of investor relations following the end of the special purpose acquisition company (Spac) process – the de-Spac – that sees the firm now trading on the NYSE.
Although Mougias joined after the de-Spac was complete, he tells IR Magazine that ‘BARK looked at Spacs, direct listings and IPOs as different tactics to go public. Ultimately, we viewed the Spac process as an efficient option to take the company public and, moreover, we had the opportunity to partner with a talented team at our sponsor company, with which we had an immediate personal and professional connection.
‘With the de-Spac process behind us, we view ourselves as a public issuer focused on executing the roadmap and opportunity we laid out, regardless of the method by which we arrived at the public markets.’
As the first IR appointment at BARK, an ‘omni-channel’ company offering monthly subscriptions to dog treat and dog toy boxes, Mougias says the role offers ‘the opportunity to design and implement BARK’s first investor relations strategy, which is focused on enhancing communication efforts, creating a comprehensive investor targeting and marketing plan, and increasing sell-side engagement.’
This is not Mougias’ first time building an IR program from the ground up. Prior to joining BARK, he served as vice president of IR and financial planning and analysis at tZERO, a subsidiary of Overstock.com, where he was also responsible for developing and implementing its first investor relations program.
Before that, he served as vice president of IR at IMAX Corporation, overseeing the global investor relations strategy for the company’s securities listed on the NYSE and the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (HKEx). In that role, Mougias – a finance and economics graduate of Sacred Heart University in Connecticut – also helped take the company’s subsidiary, IMAX China, public on the HKEx.
In a statement announcing Mougias’ appointment, BARK also names Nari Sitaraman as chief technology officer and Kristi Robinson as vice president of talent and diversity. Manish Joneja, BARK’s CEO, says: ‘The additions of Nari, Kristi and Mike reflect BARK’s ongoing growth and momentum, and our ability to attract professionals of their caliber is a testament to our distinct competitive position and culture.’
Noting Mougias’ ‘significant experience developing successful investor relations programs,’ Joneja says the firm ‘welcomes the latest members of the BARK pack as we continue to build a best-in-class organization dedicated to the health and happiness of dogs everywhere.’
The dog-dedicated company, which gave away free dog treats to celebrate the start of trading at the end of June, maintains its brand identity well into the IR section of the site and the financials. So the crucial question is: does Mougias have a dog?
‘Of course! My wife and I have a four-year-old Basenji named Archer,’ Mougias tells IR Magazine. ‘Dog obsession is at the center of our company, which becomes pretty clear when you visit any of our channels. There are now more than 63 mn households in the US that own a dog, and many of them end up on the opposite side of the table – or Zoom call – in our investor meetings.’