A number of anticipated and high-profile companies went public at the stock exchange during the first half of 2021 and included names such as Coinbase, Bumble, Oatly, SoFi and Roblox.
And analysts expect even more buzzy unicorns to get listed in the second half of the year.
Earlier this month, applications for initial public offerings were filed by online broker Robinhood and yogurt maker Chobani.
There are also reports about an IPO from Instacart, which recent hired a new CEO from Facebook. And stock market debut within the next six months are also reported to be in the offing from eyeglasses seller Warby Parker, fintech firm NerdWallet and Walmart-backed Indian ecommerce giant Flipkart.
However the most eagerly anticipated IPO at the Wall Street is that from Robinhood – particularly because of the criticism by a section of analysts and investors who hold the company to be partly responsible for “gamifying” investing – a trend that rose with the rise of meme stocks like AMC.
“Robinhood might pave the way for a more active IPO market in the second half of the year,” said Phil Haslett, co-founder and chief revenue officer of EquityZen, a firm that lets investors and employees of private companies sell shares before they trade on Wall Street.
There could also be more stock market debuts from the alternative food industry such as Impossible Foods because of the success of Oatly, as well as plant-based protein company Beyond Meat, Haslett said. While many of these to-be-listed firms could choose to adopt the traditional initial public offering method, the most popular way for private companies to go public is to sell shares.
According to research firm Renaissance Capital, so far this year, more than 200 IPOs have started trading publicly which is higher by more than 200 per cent compared to the same period a year ago when the financial markets were mostly shut because of the Covid-19 pandemic. However compared to the first half of the 2019 when there were just 80 IPOs, the 2021 numbers are more than double.
So far this year, about $80 billion have been collectively raised by the class of 2021 IPOs which is almost 250 per cent higher than for the same period a year ago and more than two and half times the $30 billion that was raised by IPOs in the first six months of 2019.
Rather than offering new stock the old-fashioned way with an IPO, more companies seeking to go public will choose to sell existing shares to investors, as Coinbase and Roblox did, experts say.
The popularity of blank check mergers with special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, is likely to remain steady this year as well – a method that was used for public listing this year by SoFi, Clover Health and Hims & Hers Health.
“The range of ways to go public has changed forever,” said Kelly Rodriques, CEO of Forge, another company that lets people sell shares of private companies. “There is more flexibility now with direct listings and SPACs.”
“Going the SPAC route for us was a pretty exciting decision,” said Stephan Scholl, CEO of Alight, a corporate benefits management firm that went public that way earlier this year, raising about $2.7 billion.
“The sheer volume and size of the deal would have been more challenging as an IPO,” Scholl said. “But it allowed us to reduce our debt and accelerate our growth agenda.”
(Adapted from CNN.com)