Image Credit: iQoncept
2020 has been quite the year for tech and tech-adjacent companies to go public, with no less than 18 major ventures filing to go public through the first three quarters of the year. Many of these companies filed to go public recently as the Covid-19 pandemic caused a lull in IPO’s in the first half of 2020.
The companies that have decided to go public have differed in their approaches, as a few have decided to pursue a direct listing opposed to a traditional initial public offering (IPO). Direct listings, which have only been undertaken by a handful of times, enable companies to avoid employing investment-banking underwriters, potentially saving them millions of dollars in fees compared to traditional IPOs.
Here’s a look at the firms that are now publicly traded in 2020 and how they did in their first days on the market.
Software unicorn Asana went public via a direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange at the end of September. The company’s stocked surged in value on its first day and closed at $28.80, up 37% from its reference price of $21.
The company was valued at roughly $4.6 billion at the closing bell, was co-founded by Dustin Moskowitz, a Facebook co-founder, and Justin Rosenstein, an ex-Facebook engineering lead, in 2008. Asana says it has over 3.2 million free users and 75,000 paying customers, which account for 1.2 million paid users, across 190 countries.
Palantir also made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange this week. The company’s shares opened at $10 and closed the trading session at $9.50, giving it a valuation of roughly $21 billion.
Palantir was founded in 2003 by a group including PayPal Co-Founder Peter Thiel and offers two products; one aimed at businesses and another targeted towards governments. The company has touted that its analytics technology is ideal for tracking terrorists, which makes sense as it is backed by In-Q-Tel, the investment arm of the Central Intelligence Agency.
The popular game engine and simulation company went public on the New York Stock Exchange in mid-September under the ticker symbol "U." The company priced its shares at $52, but the stock began trading at $75 per share and closed at $68.35, giving the company a market cap around $17 billion.
The Danish-American company was founded in 2004 and gives content creators around the world the tools to create immersive 2D and 3D experiences for mobile phones, tablets, PCs, consoles, and augmented and virtual reality devices. These tools are used by 1.5 million monthly active users to create games and other content that can be found on over 1.5 billion devices around the world.
Amwell is a national leader in telehealth services that went public halfway through September. The company debuted on the New York Stock Exchange after it announced it had upsized its IPO of about 41.2 million shares at $18 per share. Amwell had initially planned to sell 35 million shares between $14 and $16 with up to 5.2 million additional shares for underwriters. The company, which trades under the ticker “AMWL,” opened at $25.51 before closing at $23.07.
Sumo Logic is another technology company that went public in mid-September, The cloud-based machine data analytics company debuted on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol "SUMO" and closed its first day of trading at $26.88, 22% above its IPO price.
The company was founded in 2010 and raised at least $340 million while it was private to help further its work on continuous intelligence, a new category of software. The company crossed the $100 million revenue mark in 2018 and has over 2,000 customers, including household names like Airbnb, Anheuser-Busch, and Samsung.
JFrog, a tech company that makes tools for software developers, listed on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “FROG” in mid-September. The company priced its shares at $44 and finished its first day at $64.79.
The Israel-based company was founded in 2008 and its product allows users to implement automatic and routine updating of their software. As of June 30, 2020, JFrog had over 5,800 customers, which helped it generate $69 million in revenue through the first 6 months in 2020, up 50% compared to the first half of 2019.
Snowflake, an enterprise software startup that allows companies to store and manage data in the cloud, had a record-breaking IPO debut for a software firm. On its first day, the company opened at $245 a share on the New York Stock Exchange, up from $120 set by its bankers, and closed at $254, valuing the company at $70.4 billion.
The big-data storage startup has grown rapidly and can count major brands like Capital One, Sony, Adobe, and McKesson among its clients. In the first half of 2020, the company’s revenue surged 133% to $242 million compared to $104 million during the same period in 2019.
Duck Creek Technologies, which provides software to insurance companies of all sizes, went public in mid-August on the Nasdaq under the ticker “DCT.” The Boston-based company’s shares closed at $40 apiece after its first day on the market after they were initially priced at $27 each. Duck Creek’s IPO gave the company a market value of about $5.2 billion after its first day.
BigCommerce, a tech company that develops e-commerce software for businesses, began trading on the Nasdaq under the ticker “BIGC” in early August. The company’s stock closed at $72.27 on its first day, which is around 201% above its IPO price, as the Austin-based company initially priced its shares at $24 apiece.
Founded in 2002, Jamf is a software company that created applications for system administrators to configure and automate IT administration tasks on Apple devices. The company made its debut on the Nasdaq in late July under the aptly named ticker “JAMF.”
On its first day, Jamf shares jumped as much as 92% and closed up 51% from the initial pricing of $26 each.
nCino is a financial technology company that was founded in 2012. The company’s tech streamlines customer and employee interactions within a single cloud-based bank operating system. The company can count major financial institutions among its customers, including TD Bank and Santander Bank. The company went public in mid-July at $31 per share and closed its first day at $78.65.
Lemonade is a full-stack insurance company that utilizes AI and behavioral economics hit the market in early July and made a splash. At the time, the company recorded one of the best US IPO debuts of 2020, with a more than 140% gain on its initial price. Lemonade finished its first day on the market at $69.41 after initially pricing its stock at $29 a share.
Communication API platform Agora had a successful IPO at the end of June, appearing on the Nasdaq under the ticker “API.” The Chinese video-interaction software company, which has a second headquarters in California, surged in its first day of trading and closed at $50.50 on day one, up from its initial pricing of $20.
Vroom saw its stock price double on its first day as a public company in early June. The New York City-based e-commerce company, which launched in August 2013, allows customers to buy, sell, and finance used cars online.
Vroom, which listed on the Nasdaq under the ticker “VRM,” had initially priced its stock at $22 per share and finished its first day at $47.90.
Enterprise software firm ZoomInfo was one of the first tech IPOs of the COVID-19 era when it made its debut on the Nasdaq in early June. The company, which runs a marketing and sales platform, opened at almost double its IPO price of $21 per share and closed at just under $35 per share.
In May, Chinese cloud services and infrastructure firm Kingsoft Cloud, a subsidiary of Kingsoft. The company’s debut was the first of any Chinese company in the US since the Luckin Coffee accounting scandal. Kingsoft Cloud priced the shares at the midpoint of its suggested range of $16 to $18. The company’s shares closed at $23.84, which gave the company a market value of $4.77 billion.
In early February, before the Covid-19 pandemic took hold of the US, disruptive mattress-in-a-box startup Casper listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The company, which trades under the ticker “CSPR,” started trading at $14.50 on its first day, after being initially priced at $12. The company finished its first day at at $13.50 per share, however, on its second day of trading, the company’s stock fell below its listing price.
The primary-care company One Medical began trading on the Nasdaq under the ticker “ONEM” in late January. The company priced its shares at $14 apiece and the stock closed 58% higher for the day at $22.07 a share. The company was valued at about $2.7 billion after its first day of trading.
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