Last week, three healthcare companies went public, raising $527.4 million in funding. Gossamer Bio (NAS: GOSS), Harpoon Therapeutics (NAS: HARP) and Alector (NAS: ALEC) all went public on the Nasdaq exchange and raised $276 million, $75.6 million and $175.8 million, respectively.
Last week’s lone IPO was New Fortress Energy LLC, which raised $280 million in funding. The company is an integrated gas-to-power company that builds infrastructure for reliable energy supply. Also, German automaker Volkswagen is planning to list its trucking unit, Traton, in April this year. They expect the IPO can raise €5 billion to €6 billion and give the subsidiary a €25 billion valuation. In the U.S., Slack, which is one of the many tech firms planning IPOs this year, announced that it has topped 10 million daily active users on its platform. The announcement lends further credibility to its direct listing plans for the second quarter
Adena Friedman, the Chief Executive at the Nasdaq stock exchange indicates that market volatility is not necessarily to blame for the lack of IPOs at the start of 2019. She says interest to go public is still there, but the SEC, which ultimately approves a company’s IPO plans, is closed with the government shutdown.
Another week without IPOs, but Silicon Valley tech giants continue to prep for their debuts later this Spring. Pinterest, a social media platform for sharing recipes, home design ideas and style inspiration, has begun interviewing bankers to underwrite its listing.
Saudi Aramco is again searching for ways to raise money in an IPO. Saudi Arabia’s energy minister says the long-delayed IPO will take place in 2021. The Kingdom released the results of an independent audit of their oil reserves last week, showing they control 260 billion barrels in oil reserves. Since the inception of Aramco’s IPO idea, the plans have been critiqued for not being transparent enough. Experts suggest these metrics are a first step to revealing enough about the company to potential investors.
Capital markets produced no new initial public offerings during the holiday week. However, closing out the year, Chinese firms left a mark on the IPO market in 2018. According to Yahoo! Finance, Chinese firms completed 33 of the 190 IPOs on U.S. exchanges, the second highest total since 2009. Those 33 firms also raised just over $9 billion, second in the post-recession era to 2014, where $29 billion was raised on the back of Alibaba’s $25 billion IPO.
Last week, a single IPO was completed: Mercantil Bank Holding Company, the parent company of the largest community bank headquartered in Florida, Amerant Bank. The biggest IPO news of the week, however, comes out of Silicon Valley as Pinterest announced that it may go public as early as April 2019. The IPO for the social media giant joins the long line of tech debuts planned for 2019 that includes brands such as Uber, Lyft, AirBnb, Palantir, and Slack, all of which may fetch valuations over $1 billion. In fact, Uber is expected to be valued at roughly $120 billion. Pinterest, a social media platform in which users share new interests, ideas, and images by “pinning” them to their own boards or other’s boards, may be valued at $12 billion in the public markets.
The top headline for this week’s IPO markets is Tencent’s New York Stock Exchange listing of its music streaming service subsidiary. Tencent Music Entertainment made waves with the largest traditional IPO since Alibaba in 2014, raising $1.1 billion. The largest online music platform in China, with 800 million active users, Tencent Music operates three music streaming apps - QQ Music, Kugou and Kuwo – as well as karaoke app WeSing. The IPO marks roughly $9 billion in fundraising for Chinese firms going public in the U.S. in 2018
Last week, three companies made debuts on public exchanges, raising a total of $801.9 million, mostly on the back of the year’s largest biotech IPO in Moderna Therapeutics. Synthorx, a San Diego biopharmaceutical company joins Moderna as the two healthcare IPOs last week. Rounding out the three is MOGU, Inc., a Chinese online retailer of fashion and cosmetics goods.
According to preliminary data provided by Pitchbook, only six firms went public in November 2018, raising a total of $262 million in funding. Total IPOs and funds raised are down 68.4% and 92.5%, respectively, from October. Furthermore, there were three less IPOs this November than one year prior and 80% less capital raised.