Anticipated Upcoming IPOs
After a turbulent and volatile beginning of 2019, it is shaping up to be a big year for IPOs. The alluring amount of the so-called unicorns have been angling to take their companies public before the market heads south. 2019 is expected to see another impressive crop of newly public stocks. Here are a few of the most anticipated and hottest upcoming IPOs to watch for.
Like many of the aforementioned tech “unicorns” on this IPO list, food delivery app Postmates began seriously exploring the process of going public in autumn of 2018, consulting several banks about the underwriting process. A month prior, in September, Postmates raised $300 million at a $1.2 billion valuation, making it one of the smaller companies on this list. If ever there was a time to pull the trigger though, 2019 would seem an ideal time to raise public capital. The company faces intense competition from GrubHub (GRUB), UberEats, DoorDash and others, and may want to go public before the bull market fizzles out. Potential 2019 IPO valuation: $1.85 billion
Headlining the list of upcoming 2019 IPOs is Uber, the world’s preeminent ride-hailing company. The writing is clearly on the wall for Uber, which hired former Expedia Group (ticker: EXPE) CEO Dara Khosrowshahi in 2017 to replace founder Travis Kalanick amid a torrent of scandals, PR gaffes and board infighting. Khosrowshahi diligently recruited a chief financial officer to prepare for and execute Uber’s IPO, hiring Merrill Lynch CFO Nelson Chai. Uber filed to go public confidentially with the Securities and Exchange Commission in early December, and is racing rival Lyft to Wall Street; Uber is expected to go public in the first half of 2019. Potential IPO valuation: $120 billion
The #2 ride-hailing service is in a race with Uber to IPO first, and investors have long anticipated getting a piece of one of these fast-growing ride-share stocks. Lyft, which was valued at $15 billion in its last funding round, filed to IPO earlier in December as part of its efforts to challenge Uber.
Unlike the previous two names, and indeed, unlike most companies going public, Airbnb is reportedly considering a “direct listing,” cutting out Wall Street underwriters and selling shares directly to the public. The downside is that the company itself doesn’t actually get any of the proceeds (it’s a way for insiders to cash out), but for Airbnb, the nimble, profitable, room-listing platform with famously little overhead and a $31 billion valuation, that’s not a huge problem. Airbnb is one of two upcoming IPOs in 2019 connected to Peter Thiel; Thiel’s Founder’s Fund led a $200 million funding round in 2013 valuing Airbnb at $2.3 billion.Potential 2019 IPO valuation: $31 billion
Another hoped-for IPO next year is office-sharing juggernaut WeWork, which was most recently valued at $45 billion and counts Softbank as its largest investor. Though many investors are perplexed by WeWork's valuation, believing that the company is just repurposing office space in a way that any other competitor could, the company has grown like a weed, with more than 500 locations in 96 cities around the world. After the company sold $3 billion in additional shares to Softbank in November, an IPO next year seemed less likely -- WeWork is well funded at the moment. But if market conditions are amenable, WeWork could debut in 2019.
WeWork's revenue is set to approach to $2 billion this year and is still growing fast -- revenue more than doubled in the second quarter. The company has more than 500,000 members, but its losses continue to widen as it invests in growth, and that could be a concern for investors.
Slack, the popular office-messaging platform, has also thrown its hat into the ring for a 2019 IPO. The company, whose software provides collaborating workers with an alternative to email, has hired Goldman Sachs to lead its public offering next year, and is seeking a valuation of $10 billion. Founded in 2009, Slack is one of several cloud-based companies that have found success in the mobile era, and has grown quickly, valued at $7.1 billion in its most recent fundraising round in August.
Other Hot Companies
Palantir Technologies, Potential 2019 IPO valuation: $30 billion to $40 billion
Robinhood, Potential 2019 IPO valuation: $5.6 billion
Pinterest,Potential 2019 IPO valuation: $12.3 billion
Pax Labs, Potential 2019 IPO valuation: $5 billion
Harborside, Potential 2019 IPO valuation: $200 million