The year 2017 brought us IPO launches for Roku, Blue Apron, and Snapchat. Which new IPO’s can investors hope for in 2018?
An initial public offering, often abbreviated as an IPO, is the first sale of the first stock of a newly public company. Going public allows a company to grow much more capital, but at the cost of being subject to more regulations and scrutiny. Generally, rumors circle around the possibility of a company’s IPO launch before it actually happens. Here’s a list of some of the most widely speculated IPO launches we may see in 2018.
Possible IPO Launches of 2018:
This media startup, founded in 2006, is rumored to be preparing to go public. Known for their viral content, online quizzes, and the term “clickbait,” BuzzFeed is one of the biggest names in online media and it’s currently valued at $1.7 billion. BuzzFeed writers are masters at leveraging social media for views and clicks. Their famous “listicle” writing style (“5 Things You Didn’t Know About . . .”) has helped transform how people consume content online. A public, capital-heavy BuzzFeed could be an even bigger online force.
How can the largest hospitality company in the world not own a single property? Founded in 2008, Airbnb connects travellers to homeowners (taking a cut out of every rental transaction) and currently boasts over three million listings in 97% of countries worldwide. This makes Airbnb a major disruptor to the hospitality industry. There have been rumours circulating about an imminent IPO launch since 2014 and its founders have even hinted at it. Will 2018 be the year?
Like online scrapbooking, Pinterest lets users “pin” and share images across categorized “boards”, and is a very popular destination for wedding planning, home decorating, recipe sharing, and online shopping. It currently boasts 200 million users. One of its advantages over other social media platforms is that ads blend in more easily to its image-driven format than on Facebook or Twitter, for example. In fact, users can add certain items directly from Pinterest to their Amazon shopping cart. Currently valued at $3.8 billion, analysts have speculated that this social media giant may be looking to launch an IPO in the near future.
The music streaming service, Spotify, was launched in 2008 and now has over 140 million users. Despite several very public moments of backlash from artists like Thom Yorke and Taylor Swift over artist payment, Spotify has grown to be the biggest player in music streaming. Spotify was previously expected to launch in 2017, but now has been reportedly trying to decide between an IPO or a direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange. This second option would mean less compliance and disclosure hassle for the music streaming giant. If they choose this route, it could mean fewer future IPO launches for similar tech companies with aversion to paperwork trouble.
In August of 2017, the CEO of Uber announced that an IPO launch was “18-36 months out.” Could its biggest ride-sharing rival be even closer? Lyft was founded in 2012 (3 years after Uber), and is currently valued at $7.5 billion. According to a recent report from Reuters, Lyft has recently been taking steps towards going public. An IPO launch ahead of its bigger rival could make things interesting between these two companies. Uber has been plagued by controversies in recent months, including safety concerns and misconduct allegations against its workplace culture and top executives. A boost in capital for Lyft, via an IPO launch, would be yet another damaging blow.