Social media platform OnlyFans was one of the largest business success stories over the past few years.
As traditional businesses shut down and millions of workers turned to online content creation for additional income, OnlyFans became one of several go-to platforms for those looking to make money online. Between the beginning of 2020 and the end of 2021 alone, the platform’s user base skyrocketed from 13.5 million to 188 million.
This growth story, along with the platform’s controversial fame, has led many investors to anxiously await an IPO from OnlyFans. Are you able to buy into this success story?
What Is OnlyFans?
OnlyFans is a somewhat unique combination of a social media site with a subscription-based content model.
On OnlyFans, creators produce exclusive content for fans who pay monthly subscriptions to access specific creators’ videos. OnlyFans makes its money by taking a 20 percent cut of these subscriptions while passing the rest on to the content creators.
Despite its innovative approach to social media video content, OnlyFans is perhaps best known as a hosting site for adult content. By some estimates, over 70 percent of the content currently available on OnlyFans is of an adult nature.
This content is also by far the most popular on the platform, accounting for the revenue of the most successful OnlyFans creators.
What Company Is Behind OnlyFans?
OnlyFans is owned by a parent company called Fenix International. This company itself is owned by a billionaire venture capitalist of Ukrainian origin named Leonid Radvinsky.
A graduate of Northwestern University, Radvinsky had started at least two other adult-oriented online businesses before acquiring Fenix International in its early days.
Fenix International engages in very limited business activities outside of the OnlyFans platform. One of its few other activities is cryptocurrency investing.
Fenix International, presumably at the sole discretion of its owner, is known to have purchased nearly $20 million worth of the cryptocurrency Ethereum
Is OnlyFans a Publicly Traded Stock?
At the time of this writing, OnlyFans does not trade publicly.
Fenix International is wholly owned by Mr. Radvisnky and has not filed for an IPO.
As such, the company remains entirely private at this time.
Can I Buy OnlyFans Stock?
As a private company, OnlyFans does not issue shares for public purchase.
In fact, there do not even appear to be opportunities for private investment, as the parent company’s only known shareholder is Mr. Radvinsky.
Because of this, even venture capital and private equity funds do not currently have investment access to OnlyFans.
Will OnlyFans IPO?
With a market hungry for access to high-margin tech and social media companies, it’s far from impossible that OnlyFans will eventually issue public shares.
In 2022, rumors began to circulate that the company had approached several special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) in hopes of being taken public. This mechanism would have allowed OnlyFans to bypass the ordinary IPO process by being acquired by an already public company.
One of the main obstacles to an OnlyFans IPO could be its reputation as a major host of adult content. Last year, the company’s talks with SPAC Forest Road Acquisition Corp. allegedly fell through due to the prevalence of such content on the OnlyFans platform.
Despite these difficulties, OnlyFans will almost certainly remain entwined with adult content as a key part of its business model.
The company tried once to remove such content from its platform in 2021 but almost immediately reversed its decision due to creator backlash.
Subsequent attempts to grow beyond its adult-oriented reputation have been much more modest, and OnlyFans today remains heavily associated with the content that drives much of both its popularity and revenue.
This alone, however, is far from a death knell for a potential IPO. Several adult entertainment companies, including Playboy and New Frontier Media, already trade on public stock exchanges. An OnlyFans IPO, therefore, would be far from unprecedented.
Given the interest OnlyFans has shown in being taken public and the investor appetite for new social media platforms, it seems likely that OnlyFans will eventually go through with an IPO.
OnlyFans Stock Symbol
Because OnlyFans has not filed to trade publicly, it’s impossible to say with any certainty what the company’s stock symbol would be in a future IPO.
One likely possibility, however, is OF, an acronym by which the company is already widely recognized online. FANS, which would be a natural choice is already taken by another firm, Fansunite Entertainment.
OnlyFans Stock Price
Prior to an IPO filing, it’s not possible to arrive at an individual price for shares of OnlyFans because there is no way to forecast how many shares will be issued. It is, however, possible to arrive at a potential valuation for the company as a whole.
Through UK filings, OnlyFans is known to have generated $1.09 billion in revenue in 2022. Pre-tax profits were $525 million, a 22 percent increase from the previous year. Of the post-tax amount, some $338 million was paid out in dividends to Mr. Radvinsky.
OnlyFans is also still a company that seems to be in a rapid growth phase. In 2022, the number of creators on OnlyFans grew by 47 percent, while the number of subscribers increased by 27 percent. Gross transaction volume also rose considerably, climbing from $4.8 billion in 2021 to $5.6 billion last year.
Using these numbers, it’s possible to at least arrive at a general idea of OnlyFans’ value. Using the $338 million profit Radvinsky took in 2022 as an estimate for unadjusted post-tax earnings and a P/E ratio of 30, OnlyFans would be worth around $10.1 billion.
This valuation would give the company an unusually high price-to-sales ratio of roughly 10, but such a ratio could be justified by the company’s seemingly high margins.
The market could, of course, price OnlyFans at a higher or lower multiple to its earnings based on perceived risks and expected growth rates.
Assuming OnlyFans can maintain its high rate of growth, the figure above would likely be a very conservative estimate of its value. Higher premiums based on forward growth could drive the company’s total valuation well above $15 billion with sufficiently bullish investor sentiment.
At its core, OnlyFans is a social media platform. As such, some of its key competitors are Facebook and Instagram parent company Meta, Snapchat and X (formerly Twitter). All of these social media majors are vying for user attention and increasingly using video-based content to keep users engaged.
Two other video platforms, YouTube and TikTok, are also significant competitors to OnlyFans. It should be noted, however, that these platforms aren’t available to investors on a standalone basis. YouTube, as a subsidiary of Google, is part of the broader tech network that falls under the umbrella of Alphabet.
TikTok, meanwhile, has found itself in its own IPO limbo. The company had originally planned to go public by 2020. Increasing tensions between the US and China regarding data sourced from TikTok, however, complicated the IPO effort. Today, despite an estimated valuation of around $65 billion and an increasingly dominant competitive position, the long-awaited TikTok IPO has still not occurred.
It should be noted, however, that none of these platforms is truly a direct competitor to OnlyFans’ primary business line. Because the aforementioned social media sites do not allow adult content on their platforms, OnlyFans has limited direct competition with these sites.
Who Is the CEO of OnlyFans?
The current CEO of OnlyFans is Keily Blair, who took over from former CEO Ami Gan in July. Prior to becoming CEO, Blair had served as the company’s Chief Strategy and Operations Officer.
The author has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Financhill has a disclosure policy. This post may contain affiliate links or links from our sponsors.