If 2021 is any indication, 2022 could be a banner year for the IPO market.
By the end of the third quarter this year, 1,635 companies had gone public around the world, a number that’s higher than the year-end totals of 2018, 2019, and 2020—and one that’s certain to top 2017 by December 31. Favorable market conditions have spurred many companies to make the jump.
Things haven’t been quite so rosy for SPACs (special-purpose acquisition companies) or IPOs (initial public offerings) in the tech sector, though. More than 50 tech companies have gone public this year, and virtually all of them are 20% or more off of their peak stock prices. Nearly half have lost 50% or more of their value since reaching their highs (though none have performed as poorly as Robinhood, which is off about 75% from its high of $85 per share in August).
Still, that hasn’t discouraged companies from entering the IPO pipeline. Several big names are expected to debut in the next 12 months. Here’s a look at some of the most notable (though, to date, none have filed an S1—basically a registration statement—with the Securities and Exchange Commission).
With a valuation of $95 billion, Stripe is the IPO most market observers have their eyes on. Founded 12 years ago by brothers John and Patrick Collison, the payment-processing company has grown into a global force, with more than 4,000 employees, a customer base that includes Amazon and DoorDash, and reported revenue of more than $7.5 billion per year.
Founders Jason Citron and Stan Vishnevskiy launched Discord in 2015 to create a better communications tool for their remote developer teams. When gamers embraced the chat app, though, there was no looking back. Today, it boasts 150 million active monthly users. A $10 billion acquisition by Microsoft fell through last year, but Discord is a cash-rich company. Its latest financing round raised $500 million, bringing its valuation to $15 billion.
Intel acquired this Israeli autonomous driving firm for $15.3 billion four years ago. On December 7, it announced plans to take it public in the middle of 2022. Founded in Jerusalem by Amnon Shashua and Ziv Aviram in 1999, Mobileye is one of Israel’s biggest tech success stories and the company could be valued at more than $50 billion, per some reports. Intel’s CEO told CNBC that the division’s sales have tripled since Intel took it over, with nearly $1 billion in revenue last year.
In 2011, Stanford professor Patrick Brown founded this company, which replaces meat products with plant-based options. Since then, Impossible Foods has become a staple at grocery stores and restaurants. The upward trend of people opting for a plant-based lifestyle makes it even more attractive to investors. To date, it has raised $1.5 billion in venture money, and it will reportedly seek a valuation of $10 billion.
Few companies benefited more from the pandemic than this grocery delivery service. Founded by former Amazon.com employee Apoorva Mehta in 2012, Instacart’s valuation doubled earlier this year to an impressive $39 billion after its revenue more than tripled to $1.5 billion in 2020. It currently delivers products to more than 85% of U.S. households and works with more than 600 national retailers. The IPO, which was originally expected to happen in 2021, could come later in the new year, as CEO Fidji Simo reportedly pushed it back to focus on strengthening the company’s services beyond just delivery.
Founded in 2012 by Howie Liu, Andrew Ofstad, and Emmett Nicholas, this cloud-based collaboration service counts actor Ashton Kutcher among its backers. It doubled its valuation to $5 billion earlier this year with a $200 million raise. More than 200,000 companies, including Netflix, Expedia, and Shopify, use Airtable’s low-code platform to build collaborative apps.
You can’t really call this an initial public offering for Panera—it was publicly traded until going private in 2017. But the restaurant chain, which was founded in 1980 and includes Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bros. Bagels, announced plans for an IPO in November. At the same time, it saw an investment of an unknown amount from Danny Meyer’s SPAC, USHG Acquisition Corp. Meyer will become a director after the company goes public.
The fintech that lets shoppers split any purchase into four interest-free payments saw its U.S. customer base double in 2020, to 20 million people. Founded in 2005, the company works with more than 250,000 retail partners and has a valuation of $45.6 billion. It’s taking a calculated approach to a public offering, though, with CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski telling CNBC earlier this year that the market’s volatility made him wary. The company also posted a pretax loss of $344 million in the first three quarters of 2021.
ThoughtSpot cofounder and executive chairman Ajeet Singh has already seen one of his startups IPO. He’s also the cofounder of cloud-computing company Nutanix, which went public in 2016. Back in 2012, Singh launched ThoughtSpot, a business-intelligence tool and cloud-based business-analytics provider with a focus on Big Data. In November, it raised $100 million in a Series F round that brought its total funding to $674 million and its valuation to $4.2 billion.
This 8-year-old fintech firm hasn’t confirmed it will seek an IPO, but there are reports that it’s close. The company, which offers no-fee mobile banking services, last year rolled out metal credit cards that turned people’s heads. Founded by Chris Britt and Ryan King, Chime has a valuation of more than $35 billion, which is higher than many regional banks.
Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated Ajeet Singh’s title. The story has been updated.