8 expert predictions ahead of Coinbase’s hotly anticipated IPO next week

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Coinbase’s debut on the Nasdaq on April 14 has been eagerly awaited, especially by cryptocurrency bulls who view the listing as a milestone for the digital currency ecosystem.

Adding to the excitement, the cryptocurrency trading giant reported a whopping $1.8 billion revenue in the first quarter of the year on Tuesday, compared to the $1.3 billion for all of 2020.

On the back of the eye-popping earnings, DA Davidson analyst Gil Luria increased his price target by 125% to $440 from $195. The analyst derived his adjusted price target from a 20x multiple based on the company’s expected revenue this year.

The record-breaking quarter for Coinbase moved in lockstep with bitcoin’s surge, which thus far has soared more than 100% year-to-date and 600% in the past 12 months.

While bitcoin’s rally has stalled in the past days, it tested the $60,000-level record last week after Visa enabled the use of USD Coin and CME Group revealed it is expanding its suite of crypto offerings with micro bitcoin futures. On Thursday, billionaire Rick Caruso’s real estate firm announced that it will start accepting bitcoin as rent payment – a first in the residential and retail real estate space.

Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the US, offers a wide range of products and services from trading and custody services to offering a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar. It has 43 million users in more than 100 countries.

Read more: A 29-year-old self-made billionaire breaks down how he achieved daily returns of 10% on million-dollar crypto trades, and shares how to find the best opportunities

Here’s what eight crypto-industry experts had to say about Coinbase’s public debut:

“The direct listing of Coinbase is a huge market signal, however, we’re yet to see whether the long-term effect on the crypto industry will be positive or negative … We are big fans of what Coinbase has done to date, but we worry about the centralizing effects of the concentration of users on a single platform, negating the true benefits of decentralization.” – Alberto Jauregui, growth lead of Pocket Network, a blockchain data ecosystem

“The Coinbase listing is a huge step for the digital asset industry from both a mainstream adoption and regulatory point of view, signifying the acceptance of cryptocurrency business in traditional finance. Other exchanges following in Coinbase’s footsteps are entirely based on their readiness to go public. This will pave the way for Coinbase’s competitors to join the IPO movement. Kraken will most likely be next.” – Gunnar Jaerv, COO of First Digital Trust, a leading digital asset custodian in Hong Kong

“The success of Coinbase and its direct listing will bring on the next wave of new users to cryptocurrencies by continuing to solve the challenges of owning, storing, and providing custody to digital assets. This public listing will also have an enormous impact on the entire digital asset industry by opening the gate to further Wall Street and institutional investment and confirming that the future of finance is decentralized.” – Leo Cheng, co-founder and project lead at C.R.E.A.M. Finance, a decentralized lending protocol

“Going public is stepping into the big leagues. Crypto is becoming part of the traditional finance sector … This level of adoption seemed like a dream scenario just a year ago. A lot of users still keep funds on Coinbase and look at it as merely a trading platform. But more are beginning to wake up and understand that Coinbase is an important gateway to getting started in the crypto sector.” – Kadan Stadelmann, CTO of Komodo, an open-source technology workshop and blockchain solutions provider

“When we entered into the market three years ago it was a new and novel industry, everyone had to wrap their heads around what we were doing as a business, the terminology we were using, and the potential value a bitcoin mining operation could hold. People saw us as a speculative gamble. This year we are seeing people move beyond that. Crypto is not a novel thing anymore, but the hot new asset class for equities.” – Emiliano Grodzki, CEO of Bitfarms, a global public bitcoin mining operation

“The growth and expansion of cryptocurrencies had always been at odds with the interests of traditional financial systems … The Coinbase direct listing unites these two sides of finance in the success of this licensed and regulated company. Traditional investors who purchase Coinbase stock will indirectly speculate on the crypto market and similarly, crypto traders who own Coinbase stocks will have a vested interest in the success of the company.” – James Anderson, CEO of RioDeFi, an ecosystem of interoperable financial products

“The Coinbase direct listing is going to further build credibility and legitimacy for the cryptocurrency markets, which have already received huge institutional interest and flows since the start of 2021. But once the celebrations settle and the mainstream awareness of the cryptocurrency markets grow, eyes will turn to the alternative burgeoning decentralized financial (DeFi) industry and structures like DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations) will become common knowledge.” – Samantha Yap Founder and CEO at YAP Global, a PR agency specializing in crypto, blockchain, and fintech

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Coinbase’s $100 billion valuation should be about 80% lower, New Constructs CEO says

coinbase mobile phone app
Coinbase is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the US.

  • New Constructs CEO David Trainer said his calculations point to a valuation of $18.9 billion for Coinbase, well below the estimated $100 billion.
  • Coinbase is set for a direct listing on the Nasdaq on April 14.
  • Coinbase faces the risk of competitors driving down their fees in the young cryptocurrency market.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The potential $100 billion valuation of Coinbase Global ahead of the cryptocurrency exchange’s trading debut is “ridiculously high,” said New Constructs CEO David Trainer, with an outline from the veteran stock analyst including his view that the company’s profitability faces the risk of being slashed.

Coinbase is set for a direct listing on the Nasdaq exchange on April 14. This week, the San Francisco-based company estimated a more than 800% jump in first-quarter revenue to $1.8 billion from a year earlier but noted that it is “very difficult to accurately forecast” revenue going forward because of market volatility.

“Even though Coinbase’s revenue surged over the past 12 months, the company has little-to-no chance of meeting the future profit expectations that are baked into its ridiculously high expected valuation of $100 billion,” said Trainer in a research note from New Constructs released Friday.

Coinbase is currently the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the US by revenue, and its platform offers access to Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin, among other digital currencies.

Coinbase is a standout among companies with recent IPOs because it makes a profit, said Trainer, with core earnings rising to $317 million from about $17 million in 2020 year-over-year.

But overall, Trainer said his “calculations suggest Coinbase’s valuation should be closer to $18.9 billion — an 81% decrease from the $100 billion expected valuation.”

Among Coinbase’s risks is competition as the cryptocurrency market matures, and that could lead to transaction margins at the company to fall “precipitously.”

He pointed to sharp competition in late 2019 between brokerages over stock-trading fees and said such a “race-to-the-bottom phenomenon” is likely to emerge among cryptocurrency exchanges.

“Competitors such as Gemini, Bitstamp, Kraken, Binance, and others will likely offer lower or zero trading fees as a strategy to take market share,” he said. Also, if traditional brokerages begin offering customers the ability to trade cryptocurrencies, that would “most certainly cut down on the unnaturally wide spreads in the immature cryptocurrency market.”

He said, for example, if Coinbase’s revenue share of trading volume fell to 0.01%, which is equal to traditional stock exchanges, its estimated transaction revenue in the first quarter of 2021 would have been just $35 million, instead of the estimated $1.5 billion.

“The crypto markets are very young and we expect many more companies to compete for the profits Coinbase enjoys today,” Trainer said.

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Members-only social club Soho House files for US IPO at $3 billion valuation, report says

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on November 20, 2019 in New York City
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on November 20, 2019 in New York City

  • Soho House, a network of private social clubs, filed confidential IPO paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Sky News reported.
  • The company could be valued at more than $3 billion, creating a windfall for founder Nick Jones.
  • The London-based company is part-owned by American billionaire Ron Burkle.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Soho House, a London-based network of private social clubs located worldwide, has filed to go public in the US, Sky News reported Friday.

The company this week filed confidential IPO paperwork with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Soho House could be valued at more than $3 billion (£2.1 billion), the report said, citing banking sources.

Soho House is aiming for a listing on the New York Stock Exchange, eschewing a listing in London with Sky News noting that the company is majority-owned by Ron Burkle, a billionaire from California who is the part-owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team and co-founder of private investment firm Yucaipa Companies.

Soho House’s founder is Nick Jones, who opened the original location in the west end of London in 1995.

The company two years ago decided to raise capital privately instead of filing for an IPO, the report said.

The network includes 27 houses in 10 countries including the US, Germany, India, and in Hong Kong. It opened its first US-based house in 2003 in the Meatpacking District in New York City.

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The Impossible Burger’s creator could go public at a $10 billion valuation, report says

Impossible Foods
  • Popular plant-based meat maker Impossible Foods is exploring going public at a $10 billion valuation, sources told Reuters.
  • The California-based company is considering a public listing via an IPO or SPAC, Reuters reported.
  • Shares in rival Beyond Meat are trading 400% higher than its IPO price in 2019.
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Impossible Foods, the startup behind wildly popular vegan burgers, is exploring a public listing that could give the company a valuation of $10 billion, Reuters reported on Thursday.

At its last funding round in March 2020, the plant-based meat company was valued at $4 billion.

Impossible is now weighing options between going public via an initial public offering or a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company, Reuters said, citing sources. This could happen within a span of the next 12 months.

Financial advisers have been approached to help manage discussions with SPACs that have already extended offers at a lucrative valuation, sources told Reuters. The SPAC route could diminish the positions of existing shareholders more substantially compared to an IPO.

Impossible Foods was founded by CEO Pat Brown in 2011 when he was on a sabbatical from teaching biochemistry at Stanford University’s medical school. Brown previously told Insider he wished he gained an understanding of the meat industry earlier in his career, so he could’ve launched Impossible Foods sooner.

The company is backed by venture capitalists Khosla Ventures and Horizons Ventures, and more than a dozen superstar investors ranging from pop icon Katy Perry to tennis champion Serena Williams and rapper Jay-Z.

Shares in rival plant-based company Beyond Meat are trading more than 400% higher above its public debut price in 2019.

Several private companies are eager to be acquired by SPACs after a surge in popularity within the space last year. More than $98 billion has been raised across 306 SPAC IPOs so far in 2021, surpassing last year’s record of $83 billion, according to data from SPACInsider.com.

Many of these companies may be unaware of the legal implications of not fully understanding the disclosures they can and can’t make when going public. For this reason, the Securities and Exchange Commission has warned SPAC dealmakers of the risks and governance issues related with raising capital through blank-check firms.

Impossible didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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Deliveroo shares jump as trading opens to retail investors, while hundreds of riders begin protests in the UK over low pay and working conditions

Deliveroo rider
Goldman Sachs bought $103 million in Deliveroo shares to boost its stock after a disappointing IPO.

  • Deliveroo shares rose Wednesday as the company opened trading to retail investors.
  • On the same day, about 400 riders are staging protests in the UK as they call for higher pay and benefits.
  • Goldman Sachs bought $103 million in Deliveroo shares to boost its stock after a disappointing IPO.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Deliveroo shares rose 4% on Wednesday as the company opened trading to retail investors, a week after going public on the London Stock Exchange to institutional participants only.

The food-delivery group’s shares opened at 288 pence ($3.96), giving it a market value of £5.2 billion ($7.2 billion). That is down from the £7.6 billion ($10.5 billion) valuation its IPO was priced.

Further turbulence is expected for Deliveroo’s shares as about 70,000 retail investors begin trading their stock.

Separately, some 400 Deliveroo riders are staging socially-distanced strikes on the same day that it opened up trading to amateur investors.

Protests over what they describe as poor working conditions and low pay will take place in London and four other cities in the UK, according to a statement by the trade union Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain.

The riders are revolting less than two weeks after The Bureau of Investigative Journalism revealed that some riders earn as little as £2 ($2.76) per hour for delivering food to customers, far below the minimum wage.

“I’m going on strike for my basic rights and those of all the other riders struggling to get by and support families on Deliveroo poverty pay,” Greg Howard, a Deliveroo rider and chair of the union’s couriers and logistics branch, said in a statement.

Howard said he has seen work conditions at Deliveroo decline for years. After working through the lockdown, he said he became infected with the coronavirus and got “very little support” from the company. On its site, Deliveroo says it offers a relief fund for infected riders.

Another rider, Ethan Bradley, told the Big Issue: “I don’t know if I’m going to be able to make the rent next week, or pay the bills. Many riders have family, have dependents and have kids to feed,” adding that security of earnings “would mean so much to them.”

A Deliveroo spokesperson told Insider that the “small self-appointed” union does not represent a majority of riders who tell the company they value its flexibility and an ability to earn over £13 ($17.9) an hour.

“We are proud that rider satisfaction is at an all-time high and that thousands of people are applying to be Deliveroo riders each and every week. Riders are at the heart of our business and today we are beginning a new consultation with riders about how we should invest our new £50 million community fund,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

Shares in Deliveroo tumbled by more than 30% at its stock market debut on March 31, when only institutions were allowed to participate. The Financial Times said its IPO has been dubbed “the worst in the history of the London market.”

The food-delivery group may have waited too long to capitalize on the IPO frenzy for COVID-19 stock winners.

Goldman Sachs, one of Deliveroo’s underwriters, bought shares worth £75 million ($103 million) to boost its stock after its IPO dwindled, the FT reported on Tuesday.

The result of Deliveroo’s IPO was deflating for many investors in UK tech, according to Christian Nentwich, founder of financial tech firm Duco. He told Insider that although there are lots of good arguments about whether the IPO’s pricing was rightly set over workers’ rights and future business risk, “frankly, no one cares in other companies, outcomes matter.”

“Protests about dual-control structure, about the strategy of burning cash to fuel growth, and so on, are irrelevant – companies can simply list elsewhere,” he said.

But brands are as strong as their weakest link and for Deliveroo, problematic worker practices are its biggest challenge, said Sophie Lord, executive director of strategy at brand consultant firm Landor & Fitch.

“Major investment houses are looking at ESG seriously and have made it clear, they won’t tolerate a failure to engage. Whether the brand now has the lifeforce to overcome the scrutiny, time will tell – as will its share price,” she said.

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Bill Gates says companies have gone from staying private too long to going public too soon and that he’s avoiding ‘low quality’ SPACs

Bill Gates
  • Bill Gates believes some companies may be going public too soon amid a SPAC boom.
  • The billionaire said he will be sticking to “higher quality” SPACs in this environment.
  • Gates emphasized the need for “extreme” disclosures to protect investors from early-stage investing risks.
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Bill Gates said he believes companies have “flipped” from staying private too long to going public too soon, in an interview with CNBC on Friday.

The billionaire Microsoft co-founder added that he will be avoiding “low quality” special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) that have flooded the market and sticking with “higher quality” options.

Gates sat down with CNBC’s Becky Quick and former US Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson to discuss his climate-related work for the economic club of New York on Friday. In the interview, the billionaire philanthropist was asked about the rise of SPACs and whether or not they would be a benefit to “green” startups.

SPACs have raised more money in the first quarter of 2021 than they did in all of 2020, raking in more than $97 billion in just three months, according to data from SPAC Research.

Gates emphasized the capital intensive nature of climate change solutions and green companies and said that if investors are willing to take the risk, cash from capital markets would allow “green product companies” to “improve their balance sheet and get capital for projects because the markets are saying this is important.”

On the other hand, Gates warned about the risks in early-stage investments, saying, “you’ve got to make sure your disclosure about the risks is really extreme.”

He also noted that “we’ve kind of flipped from a world where companies would probably stay private too long, to now where, unless you’re tasteful, some of these companies may be going public too soon.”

Gates added that “there will be quality companies that SPAC,” but emphasized there will also be “low-quality companies” that choose to take advantage of the SPAC boom. Gates said he will be looking to stay involved in the only higher-quality offerings.

After a meteoric rise in SPACs over the past two years, there’s been some evidence that the SPAC market is beginning to cool.

Specifically, SPAC IPO prices have begun to fall. In fact, some 93% of SPACs that went public in the last week of March traded below their $10 initial offering price, per Reuters.

SPAC ETFs are also taking a hit, the Defiance Next Gen SPAC Derived ETF (SPAK) has fallen 23% from February 17 record highs.

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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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Deliveroo’s share price tumble dents CEO Will Shu’s fortune by $144 million during opening hours of trading

Will Shu, Deliveroo CEO and Founder, inaugurates its first Deliveroo kitchen site in France, called Deliveroo Editions on July 3, 2018 in Saint-Ouen, France.
Will Shu, Deliveroo CEO and cofounder, inaugurates its first Deliveroo kitchen site in France, called Deliveroo Editions on July 3, 2018 in Saint-Ouen, France.

  • Deliveroo CEO Will Shu saw the value of his stake in the firm fall to $474 million on its stock market debut.
  • His stake was worth $618 million at the opening share price, but fell as investors shunned the IPO.
  • Shu is also thought to have sold shares worth around $36 million when the firm listed.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Deliveroo CEO Will Shu is a wealthy man after the food delivery firm he cofounded floated on the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

Shu, the largest individual shareholder at Deliveroo, is thought to have sold around 6.7 million shares when the market opened, at the opening price of £3.90 ($5.35), making $36 million from that transaction.

The value of his remaining 6.3% stake is not currently as high as anticipated, after shares in the firm tumbled as much as 30% on its debut.

At the time of writing, the drop has seen Shu’s stake in the firm plummet to a value of $474 million in the opening hours of trading, down $144 million from $618 million at open.

The company’s listing price range for the IPO was between 390 pence ($5.35) and 460 pence ($6.33). At the higher end of the range, Shu’s stake would have been worth as much as $729 million.

Shu’s stake will fluctuate throughout the day and its value could end up being higher or lower by market close.

Read more: Here’s the 5 things investors need to know ahead of the Deliveroo IPO

Deliveroo’s IPO gave it an opening valuation of about $10.5 billion but it shed more than $2.7 billion in market value in its first hours as a public firm under the ticker “ROO.”

The company, founded in 2013 by Shu and his friend Greg Orlowski, has faced criticism from large investors and activists in the run-up to its IPO over its business model.

Deliveroo’s app allows consumers to order grocery and food on demand, and the firm relies on a network of gig-economy riders to ferry the goods out.

At least six investment firms, including Aviva Investors, Rathbones, Legal & General, and Standard Life Aberdeen, announced they wouldn’t invest in Deliveroo. Some cited both its lack of full-year profitability, and the threat posed to future profitability by its ongoing reliance on gig-economy riders.

“Deliveroo has gone from hero to zero as the much-hyped stock market debut falls flat on its face,” said AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould on Wednesday. “It had better get used to the nickname ‘Flopperoo’.”

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TikTok owner ByteDance may be worth more than Twitter and Coca-Cola as a public company

TikTok
An iPhone user looks at the TikTok app on the Apple App Store in January 2021. Lorenzo Di Cola/NurPhoto via Getty Images

  • TikTok owner ByteDance is trading on the secondary market for $250 billion, Bloomberg reports.
  • Investor confidence in the company has increased as it weighs an initial public offering.
  • ByteDance was valued at $200 billion just a month ago and $140 billion in 2017.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

ByteDance, the Chinese owner of video app TikTok, may be worth $250 billion – a valuation that beats Coca-Cola and far outranks Twitter, Bloomberg reports.

Coca-Cola is valued at $228 billion, and Twitter is $48.8 billion, according to Markets Insider data. Just last month, ByteDance was trading at a valuation of $200 billion on the secondary market, according to Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter.

In April 2017, the Beijing-based startup was valued at $140 billion, according to CB Insights. Shares have risen as the company considers an initial public offering and investor confidence increases, Bloomberg said, citing the sources.

ByteDance did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Read more: China’s tech giants are exploring a way around Apple’s privacy changes, and the move could have major implications for Apple’s relationship with a crucial market

ByteDance’s app TikTok has come under scrutiny in Western countries for potentially sharing user data with the Chinese government, but the company has denied the claims.

TikTok, which has more than 100 million active users in the US and about the same in Europe, previously had a spat with the US government, which was planning to ban the app under former President Donald Trump.

The company is now reportedly creating a Clubhouse-like app for China, as the exclusive audio platform sees success in the US and was blocked in China in February.

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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.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

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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