20 IPOs to Watch for by 2020
It’s been a big year for companies making initial public offerings, with 173 doing so through the first nine months of 2018. Those companies raised $45.7 billion, up 46.5 percent from the same period in 2017.
But 2019 could be even bigger.
Many Wall Street watchers are predicting record-shattering year – if all of the tech giants rumored to be going public in 2019 follow through with their plans. Uber alone, for example, could be valued at as much as $120 billion, giving it a valuation bigger than Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler combined.
We investigated the most recent speculation and public announcements on the biggest IPOs rumored to be happening in 2019 and 2020. Here’s a quick look at each of the companies that may – or may not – soon go public.
The company originally said it would go public between the first quarter of 2019 and the end of 2020, but more recent statements from executives suggest we’ll see Uber go public in the earlier part of that window.
Uber is losing about $1 billion every three months, yet its valuation heading into a likely 2019 IPO is $120 billion. Those losses are primarily fueled by the company’s quest to show consistent sales growth quarter-over-quarter, a must-see for most would-be IPO investors.
On that front, Uber has been successful. Gross bookings for the three months ended Sept. 30 were more than $12 billion, up more than 150 percent from the same period a year ago.
Lyft is in a cat-and-mouse game for IPO timing with Uber, and Lyft is very much the mouse in this metaphor. If it files for an IPO before Uber, its bigger rival can sabotage it by undercutting prices. Wait until after Uber files, however, and it may not reap the benefits of being the first chance investors have to pump money into the ridesharing sector.
The company has been even more unprofitable than Uber and is smaller in size and market. Following the close of its most recent round of financing in June, Lyft was valued at $15.1 billion.
Recently, Lyft made a move toward its IPO, filing a statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
When the home sharing company brought on a new CFO, it was a signal that its initial public offering could come as early as the middle of 2019.
It’s currently valued at $31 billion and, despite regulatory challenges in numerous states and municipalities, Airbnb claims it’s profitable on a EBITDA basis.
Rumors of this company’s public offering go back almost to the time the social-sharing site was launched in January 2010. But with high revenues and a $12.35-billion valuation, mid-2019 is looking more and more like the likely filing date for this popular and resilient site.
Pinterest has grown revenue and monthly active users at a steady clip since 2014. But potential investors will want to see more. Specifically, what percentage of revenue is coming from the often-fickle online advertising market?
The secretive data analytics company cofounded by Peter Thiel expects to post a profit for 2018, leading Wall Street to speculate it will file for its IPO in 2019 or early 2020. And it could be one of the biggest upcoming IPOs, with preliminary estimates from Morgan Stanley putting the value of that IPO as high as $41 billion.
Palantir has local, state and federal government contracts to collect, store and analyze data that help governments monitor people. It received, for example, a $41.6-million contract from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency in 2014. It also works with the Los Angeles Police Department and, not surprisingly, has been a frequent target of calls from the ACLU for more transparency.
It’s a barely guarded secret that Slack is planning to file its IPO in early 2019, meaning the offering will be complete by the fall of 2019.
Slack makes work-chat software that has inundated workplaces big in small since its 2009 founding, and is part of the sector known as “software as service.” About 8 million people use the company’s software daily, according to company estimates. After its most recent round of financing, Slack is valued at about $7 billion.
Aramco was on pace to be the biggest initial public offering in history. Then in August, Saudi Arabia abruptly called it off and disbanded the group of advisers that had been prepping the offering for the state-owned oil producer.
The Saudi Crown prince now says Aramco’s IPO will happen in late 2020 or early 2021, but unnamed sources quoted by multiple media outlets suggest that the government is publicly saying it is delaying the IPO while privately postponing it indefinitely.
Postmates started interviewing banks to handle its initial public offering in October, giving credence to hints CEO Bastian Lehmann dropped a month earlier that suggested the company would go public in 2019. Postmates followed up $1 billion in sales in 2017 with a successful, $300 million round of financing.
While best known for restaurant deliveries, Postmates is also in the grocery delivery business and is seen as a nimble competitor in that space to Amazon/Whole Foods, as well as Instacart. A deal with Walmart earlier this year solidified its place in the industry and also solidified plans to move ahead with its IPO.
Speaking of Instacart, it has raised $950 million so far in 2018 and a total of $1.6 billion. That’s enough to give the grocery delivery business a valuation of $7.6 billion and a lot of buzz that it too will go public in 2019 or 2020.
The company hasn’t committed to going public, but Chief Executive Apoorva Mehta has said one is likely.
CrowdStrike has developed an artificial intelligence platform it claims is capable of making 2.3 million decisions per second, which it uses to provide cyber security services. The AI allows CrowdStrike’s platform to detect and respond to never-before-seen threats to a network.
"A lot of new investors look at us as the ones who could really be the breakout company in security from a platform perspective," CEO and co-founder George Kurtz told CRN in June.
At the time, an IPO was seen as a ways off, but more recently CrowdStrike has been interviewing banks to handle an offering. In October, CrowdStrike reportedly hired Goldman Sachs to lead the offering. While the company has not confirmed a date, observers are predicting it will file for its IPO in the first half of 2019 with a market capitalization in the neighborhood of $3 billion.
Goldman Sachs is also reportedly handling the IPO for Cloudflare, another security software firm.
Cloudflare’s software makes websites perform better while also improving their security. The company’s IPO could fetch more than $3.5 billion, according to industry estimates. The company has raised $182.1 million since its launch at TechCrunch Disrupt in 2010.
Didi Chuxing is not only the “Uber of China.” It’s also Uber’s biggest competitor in China.
Recent reports suggest the company won’t beat Uber to the public market. Like Uber, Didi Chuxing burns money as it tries to build a customer and driver base by handing out subsidies to both. But it’s losing money at an even faster clip at Uber, suggesting it will need to wait until late 2019 or 2020 to file its initial public offering.
As late as April of 2018, there was open debate on whether Zoom would go public or be acquired. But within six months, it became clear that the video-conferencing software maker would file for an initial public offering in 2019.
The company was valued at $1 billion after its most recent round of financing in 2017, and it will likely seek a valuation of “several billions of dollars” when it goes public, according to a Reuters analysis of its public offering plans.
Ant Financial Services Group
Ant is the payment processing unit for Chinese tech giant Alibaba.
The question surrounding Ant’s IPO plans seems to be a matter of if, not when, as the company keeps pushing back plans to go public. Following a round of private fundraising in June, Ant was valued at $150 billion. At the same time, it once again announced it had no timetable for its IPO. Part of the problem is that Ant has struggled to be consistently profitable, as more competitors enter its sector.
The British food delivery company hired PwC in February to evaluate its options moving forward, and founder Will Shu has said publicly that an IPO seems like the next logical step for Deliveroo.
The company is valued at $2 billion. Future growth could be difficult, however, as the company has yet to get a firm foothold in the U.S., where GrubHub, UberEats and DoorDash dominate the sector.
The biggest maker of drones is expected to also go public in 2019.
The Chinese company DJI controls 70 percent of the drone market and is valued at $15 billion following a $500 million round of fundraising this year.
The online automobile marketplace has said it expects to be profitable by the end of 2018 and that it will have an initial public offering by 2019.
India-based Droom has also signaled aggressive future growth. In addition to its successful, dealer-to-dealer platform, Droom is actively trying to grow its consumer-to-consumer sales.
Another Indian company, Barbeque Nation is a restaurant chain scheduled to have its initial public offering in January.
In July, Alchemy Capital acquired a minority stake in the company, which runs 81 restaurants in 42 Indian cities.
Quartz India writes: “While Indians still eat most meals at home, urban spends on out-of-home consumption have risen rapidly in recent years. The country’s eating-out market is today pegged at $48 billion.”
The company that makes a meat substitute filed for its IPO in November. JP Morgan, Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs are leading the offer for Beyond Meat, which is best known for its Beyond Burger.
Yes, we really are about to have a publicly-traded, vegan meat company.
Ardent Health Partners
Ardent Health Partners filed for its IPO in December 2018 and expects to raise $100 million. But some analysts estimate it could fetch as much as $200 million.
The hospital chain was founded in 1993.