It’s been a solid year for IPOs. According to data from IPOScoop.com, there have been 233 offerings that have raised over $54 billion. Note that 10 deals posted returns of 100%+.
So what about next year? What can we expect? Well, it does look like several marque companies have plans to hit the public markets. Last week Lyft and Uber announced that they have made confidential filings of their S-1s.
However, the IPO market can be fickle. If there continues to be volatility in the major stock indexes, it could get tough for companies to come public — even top ones. Just look at the recent shaky deals from Tencent Music Entertainment Group (NYSE:TME) and Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA).
But of course, the markets can quickly get back into gear. And if so, what companies can we expect to pull off their IPOs in 2019? Here’s a look at ten that should stand out:
Upcoming IPOs To Watch: Uber
Uber will likely be the biggest IPO for next year and perhaps the biggest in history. The company might be able to raise over $20 billion (note that the company has already raised $20 billion!).
Founded in 2008, the company is the pioneer of the ride-hailing market, which has disrupted the traditional taxi cab industry. During the latest quarter, revenues shot up by 38% to $2.95 billion. Although, the company continues to lose money.
Uber’s aggressive strategies definitely were critical in creating a powerhouse. But the culture became too toxic. The good news is that the incoming CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, has done a great job in changing the organization. Before joining Uber, he was the CEO of Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE).
The company is also more than just about ride-hailing. Over the years, Uber has invested in various other categories like freight, food delivery (UberEats), bikes and self-driving cars. In other words, there are multiple levers for growth, which should be encouraging for IPO investors.
Upcoming IPOs To Watch: Lyft
Lyft, which is another ride-hailing operator, launched a few years later than Uber. And this has made a big difference. Lyft currently has about 28% of the US market, whereas Uber’s share is close to 70%.
The company has also not ventured into other categories. Then again, Lyft has had to focus its energies on fighting against Uber, which has definitely not been easy.
Something else: The Lyft and Uber IPOs may come out at the same time. If so, this could be a drain on the available dollars for the deals.
Despite all this, Lyft is still a great company. In the latest quarter, revenues jumped by a sizzling 88% to $563 million. The company has also been aggressive in putting together strategic partnerships, such as with General Motors (NYSE:GM), Tata Motors and Ford (NYSE:F).
Upcoming IPOs To Watch: Slack
Stewart Butterfield co-founded one of the pioneering Web 2.0 sites, Flickr, which he sold to Yahoo! in 2005. But his second venture got off to a bad start. It was called Tiny Speck, which created a massively multiplayer game called Glitch. But it never caught on.
Yet Butterfield thought that the core technology was powerful and he leveraged it into a platform called Slack. It focused on team-based chat for workplaces and it proved to be spot-on as the app gained users at a rapid clip, fending off tough rivals like Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL). Currently, the base has over 8 million DAUs (Daily Active Users) and about 3 million are paid.
Upcoming IPOs To Watch: Palantir
Peter Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) and the initial outside investor in Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), is the mastermind of Palantir (an avid Tolkien fan, “Palantir” means “seeing stone”). He saw the huge potential of using data mining and analytics for fighting fraud and even terrorism. In fact, one of the investors was the CIA.
For the most part, Palantir has been secretive. But this could change next year as it looks like the company will hit the public markets. A big reason is that employees and investors want to cash out on some of their gains (the company has been around since 2004 and has never posted a profit). In all, the company has raised $2.5 billion.
Last year, Palantir posted revenues of $600 and they are projected to reach $750 million this year. In terms of keeping up the growth, the company has been focused on making its technology less reliant on professional services and targeted on non-government customers.
Upcoming IPOs To Watch: Pinterest
Founded in late 2009, Pinterest is an app that allows people to catalog content, such as photos and recipes. According to the company’s website: “Pinterest inspires you to discover and do what you love. It sparks your creativity, gets you trying new things, and allows you to be yourself.”
It’s kind of simple but powerful. Keep in mind that Pinterest has become an effective e-commerce and ad platform. Note that revenues are expected to hit about $1 billion this year, up from $500 million in the 2017. There are roughly 200 million MAUs (Monthly Active Users).
A recent survey from SharesPost has provided some interesting findings. For example, Pinterest is a top-five mobile app and about 34% of the user base uses the platform every day.
As for funding, the total has come to $1.5 billion and the valuation is $12 billion. The company also expects to pull off its IPO some time in the second half of next year.
Upcoming IPOs To Watch: Airbnb
The idea for Airbnb originated from a major need: twenty-somethings Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia couldn’t afford to book a hotel room. So they thought that perhaps someone would be willing to rent out their living room?
It seemed like a wacky idea but it caught on. Of course, Airbnb is now a massive business and is even a threat to the hotel industry. Based on the company’s latest funding, the valuation is at $31 billion.
Even as the company scales, the growth has remained strong. For this year, revenues are expected to range from $3.5 billion to $4 billion. The company is also cash flow positive.
Regarding the IPO, it looks like Airbnb may take an unconventional approach — that is, use a direct offering. This means not using an underwriter and instead issuing the shares directly to the public. If so, this will allow much more participation from retail investors.
Upcoming IPOs To Watch: Postmates
Postmates is a platform that allows anyone to deliver anything around their city. The service is available in 550 cities and processes 3.5 million deliveries per month. There are also 250,000 merchants.
In September, Tiger Global Management invested $300 million into Postmates (the valuation was $1.2 billion). The firm has invested in other breakout companies like Flipkart, Glassdoor and Spotify (NYSE:SPOT).
The market is competitive, with players like Doordash, Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN), GrubHub (NYSE:GRUB) and UberEats. Yet it appears that Postmates has continued to show significant momentum with its business.
In an interview with Fortune, CEO Bastian Lehmann noted: “We have a beautiful path to an IPO in 2019.”
Upcoming IPOs To Watch: Casper
The mattress business is far from exciting. But it is big, at $16 billion a year and the margins are lush (as high as 50%). The industry has also seen little innovation.
All in all, this is a ripe market for disruption, right? Definitely. So in 2014, Philip Krim co-founded Casper Mattress, a new-fangled online operator. To differentiate itself, the company focused obsessively on customer service and the product (such as by making numerous iterations). But Casper is not just about a pure digital play. The company also has aggressive plans to roll out its own retail footprint.
So what about an IPO? That’s definitely on the agenda. In a Fox Business interview, Krim said the company will be “market ready by next year.”
Upcoming IPOs To Watch: CrowdStrike
According to CrowdStrike CEO and Co-Founder George Kurtz: “We don’t have a mission statement — we are on a mission to protect our customers from breaches”
Since 2011, he has been focused on building a new kind of cybersecurity firm. To do this, he knew that existing approaches were getting worse and worse. This is why he built a platform from scratch, combining sophisticated endpoint protection with with expert intelligence — delivered by a lightweight agent. The system analyzes more than 1 trillion events every week across 176 countries.
The strategy has certainly paid off in a big way. CrowdStrike has helped create countermeasures against some of the biggest hacks, such as of Sony (NYSE:SNE) and the Democratic National Committee.
CloudStrike has also amassed a major customer base. It has 12 of the 20 largest Fortune 500 companies on its roster as well as 10 of 20 of the largest financial institutions and 5 of the top 10 healthcare providers.
As for its IPO, the company has retained GS to be the lead underwriter and the plan is for the deal to launch if the first half of 2019. The valuation could be in excess of $3 billion or so.
Upcoming IPOs To Watch: Asana
Dustin Moskovitz is the co-founder of FB and has a net worth of $9.3 billion. Not bad for someone who is 34 years old.
So why not try again? Well, in 2008 he co-founded Asana, a project management app. As should be no surprise, he raised millions from some of Silicon Valley’s best investors like Benchmark, Andreessen-Horowitz and Founder Fund.
Actually, the latest funding came a few weeks ago, as Asana announced a round of $50 million at a $1.5 billion valuation. The money will be used primarily for international expansion. The company also has 50,000 paid customers.
True, Asana probably does not need the money from an IPO as the company has little problems snagging private capital. But then again, as the collaboration space gets crowded, a public offering could provide much more visibility for the company — and also help with a more aggressive M&A strategy.
Tom Taulli is the author of High-Profit IPO Strategies, All About Commodities and All About Short Selling. Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.