The $171 billion of US IPOs in 2021 is already a full-year record

Coinbase IPO
  • Initial public offerings in the US this year have already broken 2020’s record with six months still go in the year.
  • Sky-high valuations in the stock market thanks to stimulus packages and the Federal Reserve’s low interest rate policies are driving the boom.
  • By the end of 2021, US IPOs could potentially raise a staggering $250 billion-$300 billion.
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Initial public offerings in the US this year have already broken 2020’s record with six months to go.

In the first half of this year alone, IPOs have raised $171 billion, surpassing last year’s record $168 billion, according to Reuters, citing data from Dealogic.

The average one-day gain for IPOs this year is 40.5% versus the 28.2% during the same period in 2020 and 21.7% in 2019, the report said.

Furthermore, the average one-week return this year is 35.7%, an increase from 2020’s 32.2% and 2019’s 25.5%.

This doesn’t come as a surprise with this year’s blockbuster IPO including South Korean e-commerce firm Coupang, which has raked in $67 billion, cybersecurity firm Darktrace, and cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Global.

There is a slew of hotly anticipated IPOs still to come, with upcoming debuts by payments giant Stripe, Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing, and trading platform Robinhood, among others.

Among the many factors driving the surge in companies going public, from traditional IPOs to SPACs, is the heady valuation of the stock market due in large part to the flush of stimulus packages passed during the pandemic and the Federal Reserve’s low interest rate policies.

“Five-hundred million used to be a pretty big IPO,” Jeff Bunzel, global co-head of equity capital markets at Deutsche Bank told Reuters. “Nowadays everything seems to be in the billions or three-quarters of a billion-plus. So there’s really been an explosion in the size of transactions as well.”

By the end of 2021, US IPOs could potentially raise a staggering $250 billion-$300 billion or more, data from Dealogic showed.

Meanwhile, SPACs, a popular route to public markets used by many startups, have boomed as well.

In 2020, a total of 248 SPACs raised $83.3 billion according to SPAC Analytics. But 2021 data already shows 340 SPACs have raised $106 billion just six months into the year.

Read more: Bank of America flags 26 stocks to buy that are also hugely popular among giant Wall Street investors

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Electric truck startup Rivian is eyeing a $70 billion valuation in upcoming IPO, report says

Rivian R1T.
Rivian R1T.


Rivian Automotive, the electric truck startup that’s backed by Amazon, is targeting an IPO that could value the company at $70 billion, according to a Bloomberg report.

Previous reports suggested Rivian could target a $50 billion valuation in its public debut. The company was last valued at $27.6 billion when it raised $2.65 billion from T. Rowe Price Group, Fidelity Investments, and Amazon in January.

Amazon’s investment in Rivian goes well beyond its January fundraise. The e-commerce giant committed to buying 100,000 electric delivery vans produced by Rivian in 2019, and some of those deliveries began to hit the road earlier this year.

Rivian had targeted a June launch of its electric pickup truck, the RIT, but the company recently pushed back its planned launch to July. The company didn’t give a reason for the delay, but a supply chain crunch in the automotive sector has temporarily sidelined production for a number of companies, including Ford, Tesla, and General Motors.

When the Rivian RIT does hit the market, it will be one of the first electric pickup trucks on the market and seek to standout against competition, like Ford’s recently unveiled F-150 Lightning, and Tesla’s Cybertruck.

The company has hired advisers from JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley to work on the IPO, according to the report. No final decisions have been made about the IPO and details of Rivian’s potential listing could change, sources told Bloomberg.

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Luxury gym chain Equinox is in talks to go public via merger with Chamath Palihapitiya-backed SPAC

Equinox fitness gym
  • Equinox Holdings is in talks to go public via a SPAC merger with Chamath Palihapitiya’s Social Capital Hedosophia, according to a Bloomberg report.
  • A potential transaction could value Equinox at more than $7.5 billion, the report said.
  • The luxury gym operator also owns SoulCycle, BlinkFitness, and opened its first hotel in 2019.
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Equinox Holdings is in talks to go public via a merger with one of Chamath Palihapitiya’s SPACs, according to a Bloomberg report.

The luxury gym owner could be valued at more than $7.5 billion if it goes public with Palihapitiya’s Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp. VI SPAC vehicle, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

Talks of Equinox going public heated up in March following a report from Sportico, which said the company was in discussions with as many as 12 different SPACs to complete the public debut.

Besides its luxury gyms under the same name, Equinox owns SoulCycle, BlinkFitness, and opened its first New York City-based hotel in 2019.

The company was hit hard amid the pandemic as it was forced to close many of its locations. Equinox lost about $350 million on $650 million in revenue last year, according to Bloomberg.

An Equinox merger with Social Capital would likely be viewed as a win for the gym operator, as Palihapitiya has been one of the most prolific investors to bring companies public via a SPAC merger.

Some companies brought public by Palihapitiya include Virgin Galactic, which arguably kicked off the SPAC boom in late 2019, as well as Opendoor Technologies, SoFi, and Clover Health.

But the Bloomberg report didn’t drive the same surge in Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp. VI on Wednesday that it might have a few months ago when SPACs were all the rage on Wall Street. The SPAC vehicle was down 2% in Wednesday trades, signalling that investors might not be impressed with the potential deal.

The SPAC market has deflated following a peak in the first quarter of 2021. Few issuances have gone public since April, when the SEC signaled that it would increase regulatory scrutiny on the IPO vehicles, and SPAC stocks have cratered, with the Defiance Next Gen SPAC ETF down nearly 30% since its February peak.

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UFC parent Endeavor pops 19% in IPO debut, adds Elon Musk to board

UFC Fight Night Frankie Edgar

Endeavor Group surged as much as 19% on Thursday in its IPO debut, hitting an intra-day high of $28.47.

The parent company of UFC and the William Morris talent agency raised $511 million in the IPO, selling 21.3 million shares at a valuation of about $10 billion. Endeavor Group priced its IPO at $24 per share.

The holding company saw a slow down in business amid the pandemic, as it heavily depends on live entertainment. Revenue declined 24% to $3.5 billion in 2020, according to Endeavor’s S-1 filed with the SEC last month.

In anticipation of going public, Endeavor Group added Tesla CEO Elon Musk to its board of directors.

But David Trainer, CEO of New Constructs is cautioning investors about Endeavor Groups “nosebleed” valuation in an investment note on Wednesday.

“No matter how many Elon Musks it adds to its board, Endeavor’s expected valuation of $10 billion is in nosebleed territory,” Trainer said, adding that the company’s lack of profits doesn’t justify such a high valuation. Endeavor posted net losses of more than half a billion dollars in both 2019 and 2020.

Endeavor trades under the ticker symbol “EDR” on the New York Stock Exchange.

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Coursera soars 23% in trading debut following $4.3 billion IPO

trader nyse celebrate happy fist bump

Investors warmed up to the future prospects of Coursera and bid the stock higher in its first day of trading on Wednesday.

Shares of the online education company surged as much as 23%, hitting a high of $40.53. Coursera had priced its IPO at $33 per share, which was at the high end of its target range, giving it a valuation of $4.3 billion.

The share sale raised $519 million in proceeds for the company. Coursera’s previous funding round in July was at a $2.6 billion valuation.

Coursera saw a surge in business in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic forced students out of physical schools and into remote learning mode. The company recorded revenue of $294 million in 2020, representing a year-over-year increase of 59%.

But the company is not yet profitable, as it saw losses of $67 million last year. And it remains to be seen whether the jump in business it saw amid the pandemic is sustainable as schools begin to hold more in-person classes as the COVID-19 vaccine rolls out.

Coursera was founded in 2012 by Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng and currently counts more than 3,700 colleges and universities as customers.

Shares of Coursera trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “COUR.”

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Electric air-taxi startup Lilium set to merge with former GM executive’s SPAC in $3.3 billion deal

Lilium J013 air taxi flying over islands
  • Electric air-taxi startup Lilium is set to go public via a SPAC merger in a deal worth $3.3 billion.
  • Lilium will merge with Qell Acquisition Corp., which is led by a former executive of General Motors.
  • The 7-seater jet under development at Lilium can take off and land vertically and has a planned commercial launch of 2024.
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The SPAC craze continued on Tuesday as electric air-taxi startup Lilium said it would merge with Qell Acquisition Corp. in a deal worth $3.3 billion in pro forma equity value of the combined companies.

Lilium is a German-based firm that is developing electric air-taxis that can vertically take-off and land. The firm is currently building a 7-seater jet that it expects to launch commercial operations for in 2024. According to Lilium, the electric taxi-jet has a projected cruise speed of 175 mph at 10,000 feet, and has a range of 155 miles.

Former General Motors executive Barry Engle will join the board of the combined company, as will former Airbus CEO Tom Enders.

“I have spent my career in mobility and been part of the electrification of the automotive industry. The market and societal potential from the electrification of air travel is enormous,” Qell said.

The SPAC merger will raise total gross proceeds of $830 million for Lilium, and investors include Baillie Gifford, BlackRock, Tencent, and Palantir. Lilium will use the proceeds to fund the launch of commercial operations, including finalizing production facilities in Germany and obtaining type certification of the aircraft.

Qell Acquisition Corp. traded up 3% on the merger news to just above its $10.00 offering price.

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Robinhood looks to allow users to buy directly into IPOs, report says

Robinhood on cellphone


Robinhood is looking to allow its users to buy directly into initial public offerings, including its own, alongside institutional investors, Reuters first reported.

While the popular trading app – which confidentially filed IPO paperwork on March 23 – could easily implement this for its own debut, it remains to be seen how other companies will react to this move, knowing how limited allocations are to investors during new listings.

Further, Robinhood would still need to get the approval of US regulators and negotiate with companies and their brokerages, sources told Reuters.

Robinhood users and retail traders are currently not able to buy stocks of newly listed companies until they start trading, unlike Wall Street investors. If this initiative succeeds, it will be considered a win for retail traders as shares often trade higher when they debut in what is commonly known as a first-day pop.

The average pop on US listings in 2020 was 36%, according to data provider Dealogic as reported by Reuters.

Sources tell Reuters that the Menlo Park, California-based company plans to allocate a portion of shares on offer in its IPO for all of its 13 million users.

Read more: Cathie Wood says Tesla’s stock is going to $3,000 by 2025. 2 market experts break down whether that’s realistic and the catalysts that might lead the EV maker there.

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Robinhood has filed confidentially for a US IPO, new report says

Robinhood on cellphone

Robinhood Markets confidentially filed for an initial public offering with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Bloomberg first reported on Tuesday.

Robinhood, the trading app popular among retail investors, selected Nasdaq as the venue for its listing, according to Bloomberg. Robinhood is also said to be keeping its listing plans open to change. It’s been eyeing an IPO since as early as 2018. The company had more than 13 million users at the end of 2020.

The app’s rapid rise to prominence peaked during the GameStop short-squeeze saga in late January as an army of Reddit day traders sparred with hedge funds to push shares of the video-game retailer to dizzying highs.

Robinhood achieved an $11.7 billion valuation in a funding round last year. It also raised financing this year that will convert to equity upon the completion of an IPO, Bloomberg reported in February. A first tranche will convert at the lower of a $30 billion valuation or a 30% discount to the IPO, with the second at the lower of the 30% IPO discount or a $33 billion valuation, according to Bloomberg.

Robinhood hired Goldman Sachs in December to lead its IPO.

Read more: Hedge funds are ramping up bets against Chamath Palihapitiya’s SPACs and have already taken home $40 million this year. Here’s a detailed look at the wagers they’re making.

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Oscar Health falls 9% in trading debut as valuation hits $9 billion

Oscar Health employees
Oscar Health employees


Oscar Health fell as much as 9% in its IPO trading debut on Wednesday, giving it a valuation of about $9 billion.

Oscar had priced its IPO at $39 per share, selling 37 million shares $1 higher than its previously targeted offering range of $36-$38. Oscar had originally planned to sell 31 million shares at a price between $32-$34 in its initial IPO filings. The firm raised $1.4 billion in proceeds from the offering. 

Shares of Oscar traded down $3.51 to $35.48 in its opening trade.

The company utilizes a technology platform to offer individual, family, and Medicare Advantage health insurance plans for more than 500,000 members. The platform offers several telemedicine services and more transparent billing information. 

Oscar has yet to reach profitability. The health insurance firm saw its net loss widen to $406.8 million in 2020 from $261.2 million in 2019.

Oscar trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “OSCR.”

The decline in Oscar shares comes amid broader weakness in the stock market, as investor excitement towards an economic reopening and a sharp rise in interest rates has helped fuel a rally in cyclical stocks at the expense of higher-growth stocks in the technology and healthcare sectors. 

Oscar is based in New York and was founded in 2012 by co-founder Joshua Kushner, the brother of former President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and White House advisor Jared Kushner, along with CEO Mario Schlosser and Kevin Nazemi.

Some early investors in Oscar include Alphabet, Fidelity, and Khosla Ventures, among others. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Allen & Co. helped bring Oscar Health public. 

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Former baseball superstar Alex Rodriguez files to form $575 million SPAC as IPO craze continues

alex rodriguez baseball
  • Former baseball superstar Alex Rodriguez is joining the SPAC craze and launching one of his own.
  • Slam Corp. is seeking to raise $575 million in its public debut and will be led by Rodriguez as the CEO, according to a SEC filing.
  • Slam will seek to acquire a firm within the sports, media, entertainment, health and wellness and consumer technology sectors, the filing said.
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Former baseball superstar Alex Rodriguez is the latest high-profile name to throw his hat in the SPAC ring, with a launch of his own “blank-check” company called Slam Corp, according to a SEC filing.

SPACs are investment vehicles that raise funds from investors which are then used to acquire a private company and bring it public.

Rodriguez will lead the Slam Corp. SPAC as its CEO, and is seeking an acquisition within the sports, media, entertainment, health and wellness and consumer technology sectors.

“We will seek to acquire a multibillion-dollar asset with a leading market position in an attractive industry,” Slam said in the filing. 

Unlike Billy Beane’s Redball Acquisition Corp., Slam is not seeking to acquire a professional sports team. Redball recently failed in its attempt to take the parent company of the Boston Red Sox public.

According to the filing, Slam Corp is seeking to raise up to $575 million with the sale of stock and warrants at $10 per share. 

SPACs have been all the rage since last year as the COVID-19 pandemic upended the traditional IPO roadshow offering. According to data from SPACInsider, 248 blank check companies raised $83 billion in 2020. So far in 2021, 118 SPACs have raised $35 billion.

Even former Trump administration officials are launching their own SPAC, with Wilbur Ross heading a new SPAC with Larry Kudlow as a director. 

Slam will trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “SLAM” once the deal is completed. 

Read more: Investors are flocking to trade Dogecoin and other hot digital tokens on Voyager, a platform with no Robinhood-style restrictions. Its CEO says Bitcoin will hit $100,000 this year – and shares 3 other cryptocurrencies to watch.

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