The 2019 IPO calendar was packed with fast-growing startups valued at over $1 billion each, but how many of these IPO stocks lived up to their hype? Will the upcoming IPOs of 2020 mirror last year’s landscape?
If this is your first foray into the world of initial public offerings, check out our IPO explainer to learn what IPOs are, why they make headlines, and the risks/rewards associated with them.
At NerdWallet, we recommend investing for long-term growth. So, if you “miss out” on an IPO listed below, don’t fret. If it’s a solid business and you’ve got a long-term growth mindset, you don’t have to be first in line to buy.
Upcoming IPOs to watch
Here’s a list of the most highly anticipated IPOs this year, and below, a look back at how last year’s IPOs have performed so far in 2020:
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Some key hires, including an Amazon veteran to serve as the company’s chief financial officer, seem to signal that the home-sharing matchmaker is tidying up to go public soon, and Airbnb continues to expand beyond spare bedrooms, basement apartments and second-home rentals. In 2019, it acquired last-minute booking site HotelTonight and short-term meeting-space rental platform Gaest.com.
The coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. has impacted the travel sector of the economy, however, which could in turn affect this company’s IPO timing. Airbnb has said it still aims to go public in 2020, but no dates for an offering have been set.
With an estimated value of around $19 billion, Albertsons is the second-largest supermarket operator in the country, and it owns both the Safeway and Jewel-Osco grocery chains. On March 6, 2020, Albertsons filed its S-1 registration statement with the SEC. It plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange with a target offering amount of $100 million.
Shoemaker Cole Haan has over 90 years of experience in consumer goods, weathering the greater part of the 20th century’s ups and downs.
Over the last few years, the company has invested $100 million into digital innovation to remain relevant in the quickly evolving retail space. Cole Haan’s IPO timing, however, is subject to change. Reports indicate it, too, may delay its IPO as the coronavirus and other factors continue to exert downward pressure on the stock market. When it comes time to list, it’s hoping to raise $100 million.
Grubhub, Uber Eats, DoorDash and that kid from your local pizza joint — they’re all vying for a parking spot on your street. But Postmates doesn’t just deliver dinner: It also shuttles everything from alcohol to Apple earbuds to customers. The company operates in 3,500 cities across the U.S. and Mexico and makes 5 million deliveries per month, and it is currently valued at over $2 billion.
Postmates’ expected 2019 IPO was delayed late in the year due to market concerns and lackluster performance from fellow Silicon Valley IPOs Uber and Lyft. As of March 2020, we’re still awaiting an official timeline from the company.
Stock-trading commissions were largely eliminated by major online brokers last year, which may have diluted the appeal of free-trading app Robinhood. But the app continues to add users in large numbers, and CEO Baiju Bhatt has said the company, with a valuation north of $7.5 billion, does indeed intend to go public.
However, Robinhood has not yet presented a timeline or public filing, and given its slew of recent app outages during major market moves, it’s unclear when the company may do so. (Read NerdWallet’s Robinhood review.)
Warner Music Group
As the third-largest record label in the world, Warner’s S-1 filing in early February commands attention. With the rise of streaming services, record labels have walked a rocky road in the 21st century, but Warner’s 4% year-over-year revenue increase for the first fiscal quarter of 2020 suggests it may have found steadier footing. However, according to Reuters, sources suggest Warner may also delay its IPO until the markets settle from the coronavirus-driven jolt.
Not to be confused with video-conferencing software company Zoom (ZM), ZoomInfo has set into motion its plans for a 2020 IPO, and so far hasn’t indicated any hesitation due to current market conditions. The company, which offers market intelligence to sales and marketing teams, is hoping to raise $500 million.
2019 IPOs: Where are they now?
Some recent IPOs have seen strong performances since their debut. Others, not so much — and that’s the very nature of IPOs.
Beyond Meat Inc. (BYND)
Talk about a first-day IPO pop: The share price of the plant-based meat company nearly tripled in its initial day of trading in May 2019, making it one of the best-performing IPOs for a company its size since 2000. Since then, the stock price has simmered and sizzled, dropping to the mid-$60s, then doubling again weeks later. For the bulk of 2020, BYND has hovered above $100, but that’s well below its July 2019 peak of $235.
Investors who aren’t still smarting from the spectacular Pets.com crash during the dot-bomb era in the early 2000s might be interested in Chewy. This e-tailer, focused solely on pet products, IPOed on the New York Stock Exchange on June 14, 2019, at an offering price of $22 and closed the day at $34.99, a share price increase of 59%. In 2020 so far, shares have traded mostly in the $27 to $31 range.
The company is an independent subsidiary of PetSmart Inc., which remains a majority stockholder after the IPO. If shareholder rights are high on your priority list, consider that the company has a dual-class share structure, which means Class A shares get one vote and Class B shares (those owned by insiders and existing stockholders) carry 10 votes each. That dual-class structure also means Chewy is ineligible to be included in the major indexes, like the S&P 500, or any mutual funds or exchange-traded funds that passively track them.
CrowdStrike Holdings (CRWD)
CrowdStrike has made a name for itself in the cybersecurity space. It’s the company that investigated the hack of Democratic National Committee servers in 2016, as well as other high-profile breaches. True to its name, the company uses crowdsourcing systems (along with artificial intelligence and other means) to identify threats and zero in on perpetrators.
The company increased its IPO price to $34 the night before its June 2019 IPO. Shares nearly doubled at one point during the first trading day, eventually closing up 71% from the offering price. Its share price continued to rise for about two months, hitting a peak in mid-August of $96, but has yet to recover from a slide in Q4 that bottomed out at $47.
Fiverr International Ltd. (FVRR)
Rideshare services weren’t the only gig-economy companies that debuted in 2019. Fiverr’s online marketplace connects companies looking to hire out jobs (or “buyers,” in Fiverr lingo) with freelancers (“sellers”). The Tel Aviv, Israel-based company says it has facilitated more than 50 million transactions since its inception. Fiverr’s June 2019 IPO price was set at $21 per share; it eventually closed up 90%, at $39.90.
While some investors may be tempted to compare Fiverr to Upwork (UPWK), which has similar offerings and went public in October 2018, Fiverr has outperformed its rival post-IPO. While Upwork’s stock has been sliding since a peak in February 2019, Fiverr jumped in February 2020 to $35, the highest it’s been since shortly after its IPO.
Rideshare company Lyft beat rival Uber to an IPO when it pulled onto the public market in March 2019 at a price of $72 a share. Since then the ride has been mostly downhill, with Lyft shares trading below the IPO price. (See how to buy Lyft stock.)
Fitness company Peloton went public on Sept. 26, 2019, at an IPO price of $29. The startup aims to make working out at home a “viable, exciting option,” with screen-equipped stationary bikes and treadmills that play a variety of live and on-demand group fitness classes.
Peloton’s bikes start at $2,245; treadmills are nearly double that. Subscriptions to access classes are purchased separately. Peloton has raised nearly $1 billion in funding and is valued at around $4 billion. Its shares have traded in the $25 to $33 range so far in 2020. (See how to buy Peloton stock.)
Pinterest, the image search and sharing app, went public in April 2019 and quickly learned what it’s like to do business under Wall Street scrutiny. Investors sent the share price tumbling in May when the company posted its first earnings report, illustrating just how volatile an IPO can be in its early days. PINS bounced back to hit a fresh high in August 2019, but has since struggled to recover lost territory. (See how to buy Pinterest stock.)
Instead of issuing new shares for its IPO, workplace collaboration service Slack bypassed the Wall Street middlemen and did a direct-market listing (DPO) on June 20, 2019. This nontraditional strategy means the company doesn’t issue new shares of stock — rather, company insiders sell their existing stock directly to new investors. Slack’s reference price was $26, and the company opened at $38.50. In 2020 so far, it’s traded in the $20 to $28 range. (See how to buy Slack stock.)
Spotify was among the first high-profile DPOs back in 2018; Airbnb and GitLab are now reportedly considering the strategy, too.
The RealReal (REAL)
In May 2019, consignment platform The RealReal filed with the SEC to go public. The company sells pre-owned luxury goods — a curated selection of apparel, accessories, jewelry, watches, art and other home goods — on consignment online and in a handful of retail stores. Goods are inspected and authenticated by RealReal experts before they’re put up for sale. The company processed 1.6 million orders in 2018, with an average order value of $446. As of March 31, 2019, The RealReal has paid nearly $988 million in commissions to consignors.
The RealReal had an exceptional debut in June 2019, rising 40% in a single day from its initial price of $20 to $28. So far in 2020, though, its stock has struggled to shine, and hasn’t once climbed above its initial $20 price point.
With a valuation of $82 billion, rideshare app Uber was one of the biggest tech IPOs ever — and one of the most hotly anticipated offerings of 2019. But following the sputtering market debut of archrival Lyft in March, Uber went public in May 2019 at a lower-than-anticipated price of $45, and has mostly traded below that price since. (See how to buy Uber stock.)
This cloud-based videoconferencing company didn’t attract as much attention as other tech IPOs in the famed Class of 2019 when it went public in April, despite being one of the few profitable companies on the roster. But now investors are taking Zoom’s calls: The stock popped 80% on its first day of trading, and as of early March, had surged more than 200% from its initial stock price.
This meteoric rise came amid uncertainty and downright turmoil in the stock market as a whole. Why the dramatic leap? Zoom’s videoconferencing technology makes it easier for companies to maintain operations via remote employees — a coveted capability during the height of the coronavirus. (See how to buy Zoom stock.)
IPO Calendar 2019-2020
|Company name (ticker)||Industry||Exchange||Expected (or actual) IPO date||Offer price/range|
|Cole Haan (CLHN)||Consumer goods||Nasdaq||TBD|
|Warner Music Group||Music entertainment||TBD|
|Beyond Meat Inc. (BYND)||Consumer goods||Nasdaq||5/2/2019||$25|
|Chewy (CHWY)||Consumer services||NYSE||6/14/2019||$22|
|CrowdStrike Holdings (CRWD)||Technology||Nasdaq||6/12/2019||$34|
|Fiverr International Ltd. (FVRR)||Technology||NYSE||6/13/2019||$21|
|Lyft (LYFT)||Consumer services||Nasdaq||3/29/2019||$72|
|The RealReal (REAL)||Consumer services||Nasdaq||5/31/2019||$20|
|Uber (UBER)||Consumer services||NYSE||5/10/2019||$45|
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