September Round-Up of IPO News
This year has seen the launch of many successful IPOs, while others have not been quite as successful. Unicorns, it’s turning out, don’t always post magically high revenues as investors thought they would, while smaller companies have surprisingly taken the market by storm.
This September, the market saw several successes, but the failures somewhat overshadow them. The message? It’s not enough to have big investors — companies need to have a sustainable plan for long-term profit. Otherwise, investors cool down and they’re left struggling.
Which companies are up and which are down this month? Here’s a round-up of IPO news from September
The most disappointing news of the month is WeWork’s delay in launching its IPO, which was scheduled to launch by the end of September. The company had come under scrutiny for its financial discipline, the sustainability of its business model, and the unnervingly high influence of Adam Neumann, it’s chief executive officer. While the company has already taken steps to address these concerns, launching the IPO at this point would not be worthwhile.
While the delay is certainly a heavy blow, launching the IPO could have been worse. Reuters reported that We Company, the parent company of WeWork, would have sought an IPO valuation of between $10 billion and $12 billion, a striking decrease of its January valuation of $47 billion. If We Company would have proceeded with the IPO at such a low valuation, it would be valued at less than the $12.8 billion it raised in equity since its founding in 2010. This would be a big blow to the company’s largest backer, the SoftBank Group Corp of Japan.
We Company will need to launch its IPO by the end of the year, since that’s what its $6 billion credit line requires. Not only that, the IPO is required to raise a minimum of $3 billion. If the IPO doesn’t hit the minimum, We Company will need to secure alternative funding.
Peleton Interactive, the at-home fitness equipment innovator, has kicked off an investor roadshow for its IPO, which is scheduled to launch on September 26. However, the company is being met with some skepticism from Wall Street analysts. Since Peleton has created a new category of high-class fitness equipment, the market size is yet unknown. There are also lots of competing fitness companies, while Peleton itself is kind of faddish, which means it’s unclear how long its popularity will last. Despite these concerns, Peleton revenue has been growing fast, and its fiscal year sales grew by 110% to reach $915 million. And so, the IPO will proceed as planned. Shares will be priced between $26 and $29 and will be traded on the Nasdaq
Endeavor Group Holdings Inc., owner of the WME talent agency, among others, has announced its IPO launch this fall. Endeavor has a current valuation of $8 billion and is determined to raise at least $600 million through its IPO. Shares will be priced between $30 and $32, with nearly 19.5 million Class A shares available on the market. The company is led by CEO Ari Emanuel, who is the inspiration for Ari Gold’s character in the hit TV series, Entourage.
Uber and Lyft
Uber and Lyft are perhaps the most disappointing IPOs of the year. Since Uber launched is IPO in May of this year, its stock is down 21%. Since Lyft went public, its stock has decreased by a whopping 50%.
What’s in store for 2020?
It will be interesting to see how the current IPOs play out. Will WeWork go public by the end of the year or face losing funding? Will Peleton prove that it’s here to stay or is it just another passing fad? Will Endeavor wow the world by becoming the first talent agency to go public? Will Uber and Lyft be able to recover what’s left of their reputation and revenue? While there will always be disappointments, achievements, struggles, and successes in the world of IPOs, the one thing there will never be is boredom.