OnlyFans, the online platform where sex workers, influencers and celebrities sell subscription content, is exploring a share sale to new investors.
Documents filed with Companies House this week showed that Fenix International, OnlyFans’ UK-based parent company, had increased its share count from 100 to 1m.
One person close to the company said management was holding discussions over whether to “widen the ownership”, adding that the revised capital structure gave it “the potential to do that”.
The British group’s popularity exploded during lockdowns, taking it from fewer than 20m users before Covid-19 struck to more than 120m, as bored consumers went online for entertainment and out-of-work entertainers sought to generate cash.
The platform allows content creators from fitness instructors and musicians to erotic stars to upload and sell video clips, messages and articles directly to fans who pay between $5 and $50 a month, with OnlyFans taking a 20 per cent cut of transactions.
In April, when OnlyFans revealed a sevenfold surge in transactions to £1.7bn, chief executive Tim Stokely declined to comment on whether the company might list via an initial public offering or sale to a special purpose acquisition company.
OnlyFans was “frequently approached by people . . . including Spacs”, the person familiar with the matter said on Wednesday, adding that shareholders including majority owner Leonid Radvinsky, an entrepreneur behind the porn site MyFreeCams, were not interested in selling the whole business.
However, the current owners were planning to sell part of their stake, the person said. “Apart from receiving dividends, the existing ownership would like to realise some of its profit,” he added.
OnlyFans is a family-run business that was founded in 2016 by Stokely and his father Guy, a former Barclays investment banker. The business also employs Tim’s brother Thomas as its chief operating officer.
Celebrities including US rapper Cardi B and English rugby player Chris Robshaw have more recently joined the platform, looking to monetise their vast social media followings. Fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff launched an OnlyFans account this year to show behind-the-scenes footage of New York Fashion Week.
The company, which is expecting pre-tax profits of more than £300m in the financial year to November, paid £20m in dividends last year mainly to Radvinsky, who acquired the company in 2018.
The company has said its main audience is in the US and that growth is particularly strong in Latin America and mainland Europe. In the year to November, revenues grew more than sevenfold to £283.5m, while pre-tax profits rose from £6m to £53m, according to corporate filings.
The size of revenues and growth rate suggests OnlyFans could have a multibillion-pound valuation if it went public, making it one of the UK’s leading tech companies.
OnlyFans declined to comment.