Uber Filing Is Set to Cement 2019 as Year of the Unicorn IPO
Since the federal commission that oversees IPOs reopened, companies have rushed to join the public markets, according to Bloomberg. Fifteen companies raised more than $5.5 billion in IPOs on U.S. exchanges in the past three weeks, more than three times the total raised by 22 companies in the first 11 weeks of the year.
That amount is likely to be eclipsed several times over in the next month as high-profile tech startups including Uber, Pinterest and Zoom Video Communications join the unicorns dashing to market. Uber, which is seeking to raise about $10 billion, could publicly file its IPO documents very soon, people familiar with the matter have said.
It’ll be the first chance for detail-hungry potential investors to look at hundreds of pages of in-depth information on the ride-sharing giant’s business plans. Add to that the $3 billion that other companies, including Pinterest and Zoom, are seeking to raise in the next 30 days, and it’s clear that the 2019 IPO tsunami is on its way.
Levi Strauss & Co. started the IPO flood in March with its $623 million offering, followed closely by Uber rival Lyft, which raised $2.34 billion. Bank-backed Tradeweb Markets topped $1 billion in its IPO on April 3, rounding out the trio of the year’s biggest listings worldwide, so far, as well as in the U.S.
Not all of them are thriving. While Levi Strauss and Tradeweb are trading well above their IPO prices, Lyft has slipped in its two weeks as a public company. Still, even Uber’s listing, likely to start trading in May, could be only the leading edge of the surge to come. Others considering going public include Slack Technologies, Postmates, Palantir Technologies and Airbnb.
In Europe, where activity has been shaky, the drought is breaking. Three IPOs are set to price in April that could raise a total of more than $5.7 billion. Network International Holdings surged in London trading after raising 1.1 billion pounds in the biggest listing in Europe this year. Fellow payments firm Nexi could raise as much as 2.2 billion euros in an IPO, while Stadler Rail seeking as much as $1.4 billion this week. In total, as much as $80 billion could be raised in U.S. IPOs alone this year, double the yearly average since 1999, Goldman Sachs predicted in November.