IPO Boom

If you thought WFH has made your life busier, the market for public offerings has you beat. At least 17 companies filed to go public in the U.S. last week—the most active week in the last five years, according to Refinitiv. Let’s see who’s been practicing their bell ringing in the mirror.

Never heard of it but should

Snowflake: Founded by former Oracle developers eight years ago, Snowflake harnesses the power of the cloud to make big datasets more accessible. It’s okay if you don’t really know what that means because Snowflake’s business customers do: Its revenue grew 174% to $265 million in fiscal 2019.

Best of the rest:

  • Unity is a videogame engine that powers over half of the 1,000 most popular games in both Apple's and Google’s app stores.
  • JFrog makes tools for software developers and reported more than $100 million in revenue in 2019. But the best part of this IPO is the ticker: FROG.
  • Sumo Logic is another data analytics company, who, you guessed it, is cloud-based.
  • Asana is a project management software company with a familiar tech founder—Dustin Moskovitz also helped start a little company called Facebook.

Heard of it but don’t really know what they do

Palantir: Another company that you can broadly describe as a big data analytics firm, Palantir was founded in 2003 by a group that includes famous investor Peter Thiel. Worth more than $20 billion, it's one of the most valuable private tech companies—but it's not profitable. Last week, Palantir revealed a $588 million loss in 2019 despite plenty of customers in government and defense.

  • In its paperwork released last week, CEO Alex Karp lashed out against Silicon Valley culture, which is a big deal for a company founded and nurtured in Silicon Valley. Palantir's leaving for Denver.

The other big ones

DoorDash, the food delivery company, reportedly made moves last week to go public in Q4 of this year.

Airbnb: After bookings declined 70% in May as the pandemic decimated its business, Airbnb’s long-rumored IPO seemed to be off the table. But people started getting bored of their own houses and (a slimmed-down) Airbnb cemented its comeback by filing confidentially to go public a few weeks ago.

Ant Group: The Chinese fintech titan and Alibaba offshoot plans to raise over $30 billion in a historically huge IPO in Asia. It could push 2020’s tech IPO haul past $57 billion, the second-highest amount since 1999’s internet bonanza.

Bottom line: After a few quiet moments in the spring, the IPO market is stiff-arming the pandemic and setting itself up for a record-setting year.