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Financial markets have witnessed an increase in volatility of late, which has led to several initial public offerings (IPOs) to be delayed till the new year as companies opt to wait for markets to stabilise and investor sentiment to improve.
But while there may be a slight drought in IPOs for the remainder of this year, it does mean that 2019 is shaping up to be a great year for public listings, with the following names worth keeping an eye on next year.
CEO Dara Khosrowshahi announced that the company is looking to kick-off its IPO in the latter half of 2019, with market murmurs of the ride-hailing company looking to fetch a massive $120 billion valuation. This follows a $500 million investment from Toyota that the company secured in September, valuing the business at $76 billion. The equity story that Uber will be pitching to investors in its upcoming IPO will be based not only the potential growth of its ride hailing business, but its foray into autonomous vehicles too. The company has also branched into other markets, with the it launching Uber Eats, a direct competitor to Deliveroo, and Uber Freight, which connect carriers with shippers.
Uber’s smaller rival will list ahead of it larger peer but is looking at a more modest valuation of $15 billion when it comes to market. According to reports, Lyft is expected to go public ahead of its rival with plans to list in the first half of 2019. Taking the lead could help Lyft in securing investors’ funds as it would allow the business to have the markets full attention rather than having to vie for the spotlight with its larger rival. But no matter who goes first, public markets will welcome the listing of both businesses, with investors hungry for growth stocks.
Slack is looking to go public in the latter half of next year, with reports valuing the San-Francisco-based company at around $7 billion. Many top tech companies have been able to postpone listing due to venture capital (VC) investment throwing a substantial amount of cash at promising prospects. Since its inception in 2009, Slack has raised more than $1.2 billion from VC firms, with its latest Series H round bringing in $427 million from investors like General Atlantic and Dragoneer Investment Group.
Airbnb sent out a clear signal to the market that it was indeed on course to go public next year, after it hired ex-Google tech chief Ari Balogh as its new CTO. The company is still looking for someone to replace its CFO Laurence Tosi, who stepped down amid tensions over the appointment of Belinda Johnson as COO. All the reshuffling has served to put the brakes on its IPO until next year. But when the home-rental company finally comes to market next year it is likely to be worth the wait, with it looking at a market cap range of anywhere between $53 billion to 65billion. If Airbnb can achieve a valuation in that range it would surpass Marriot International as the largest hotel company in terms of market cap.
In February, Instacart raised around $350 million in VC funding, with many people thinking that it would be the last round of financing for the company before commencing with its IPO, only for the grocery delivery business to raise a further $600 million from D1 Capital Partners. The latest round valued the company at $7.6 billion, while the injection of capital serves to strengthen its position against rivals like Amazon.