As 2016 winds down, it is clear that this year’s U.S. initial public offerings — or IPOs — are running well behind the pace of 2015. Tom Taulli, who writes the IPO Playbook blog at InvestorPlace, says several factors might be slowing the IPO market, including the presidential election.
However, Taulli thinks things could pick up in the first quarter of 2017. As we approach the new year, following are the nine most anticipated 2017 IPOs.
Zacks reported that Airbnb could be the biggest IPO of 2017. The company is a dominant player in the peer-to-peer rental of housing units on a temporary basis. Zacks reported that Airbnb has more than 2 million worldwide listings.
Rumors of an impending IPO dating back to 2014, according to Zacks, which said the company “has the potential to be one of the hottest upcoming IPOs.” Zacks reported that Airbnb has raised $3.2 billion in total equity funding. In Airbnb’s latest round of funding, investors had agreed to buy some $200 million in stock from employees.
2. Palantir Technologies
PayPal founder Peter Thiel and several other Stanford University alumni started Palantir Technologies. It is backed by the CIA, and the company is highly secretive about its business.
BuzzFeed reported that Palantir had indicated that it would buy up to $225 million of its own stock from current and former employees. In exchange, the data analysis firm requires those employees to renew their noncompete agreements and to not poach company employees for at least a year should they leave the company and work elsewhere, BuzzFeed reported.
In addition, employees who accept the offer must agree not to sue Palantir or its executives.
Snap Inc., owner of Snapchat — a popular disappearing photo messaging app — went public on March 2 after filing paperwork for a $3 billion IPO on Feb. 1, after much anticipation.
The Venice, Calif.-based company trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “SNAP” and opened at a price of $24 a share.
Following the IPO, the company had a valuation of $33 billion.
Snapchat, whose parent company is run by 26-year-old CEO and co-founder Evan Spiegel, had a total annual revenue of more than $404 million in 2016. The app itself has more than 158 million daily users.
Although ride-share competitor Uber’s prospects of going public have been widely speculated about, Lyft is gaining momentum in this space, Taulli said.
In June, Zacks speculated that Lyft might be ready for an IPO even before its well-known and larger competitor takes that step. At the time, Zacks cited a leaked financial report that the company had been experiencing tremendous growth, and was on track to meet its annual financial goals.
Based on funding so far, the company is valued around $5.5 billion.
Uber’s IPO has been speculated about for many years. However, U.S. News and World Report recently reported that recent losses have taken some of the luster off the company.
Equidate reported that the valuation of Uber stands at about $68.5 billion after its latest round of funding. Time will tell if this IPO happens in 2017, or remains the subject of speculation into the future.
An article in the Wall Street Journal noted that identity-management startup Okta is moving toward an IPO. The Journal cited a recent job listing on LinkedIn that seeks an assistant controller to help with the company’s “pre and post IPO financial reporting environment.”
Equidate reported Okta’s valuation was $1.3 billion after its last round of funding in 2015.
According to the company’s website, there have been several key executive hires in 2016. Although none of this ensures the IPO will happen in 2017, things seem to be pointing in the direction of an IPO sooner rather than later.
Spotify is a music streaming service. Equidate values it at $8.1 billion after its last round of funding in 2015.
Earlier in 2016, Spotify raised $1 billion in convertible debt, the Wall Street Journal reported. Bloomberg has reported that sources indicate Spotify is scheduled to go public in the second half of 2017.
8. Elevate Credit
Elevate Credit is an online lender that focuses on the subprime lending market. It charges an average of 151 percent on loans, with credit reporting and reduced rates over time. Although the company originally was targeting a 2016 IPO, market conditions cause it to re-evaluate.
However, don’t count out Elevate Credit. During the summer, company CEO Ken Rees told a Fortune reporter that Elevate hopes to be the first tech IPO of 2017.
Univision is the Spanish-language broadcaster that was taken private in 2007. The company made headlines by purchasing all of Gawker’s sites except the main site, which was the subject of the noted legal action with former wrestler Hulk Hogan.
Univision filed for its IPO in 2015, but has yet to go ahead with it. Some people believe Univision might still go ahead with an IPO this year. Market conditions likely will certainly play a role in determining when Univision decides to follow through.