The tech IPO market was a corpse in 2016, with only a few companies giving off a heartbeat by the end. Fortunately, 2017 looks like it could be an even better year. Take a look at the list below and decide which companies you think are poised to go public next year.
Nutanix went public its IPO in 2016, and the company’s stock price has been highly volatile since it began trading. It started off above its $16 offering price, soared to $44 a share, and then plunged to a three-week low. This rapid ebb and flow is not uncommon for young tech companies, but it does pose a risk for investors.
Nutanix has struggled to make profits in recent years, running a significant loss. In the year ended July 31, its net loss increased by a third to $168.5 million. However, its revenue increased by 84% to $450 million. The company is now attempting to capitalize on this growth by using similar technologies to Alphabet’s Google in order to cut costs for customers.
Despite its growing customer list, Nutanix delayed its IPO earlier this year after losing $119 million in the nine months ending April 2016. The company said that as of July 31, it had 3,768 customers and had 657 prospective customers. In addition, the company said that it had raised $75 million in debt from Goldman Sachs and a $140 million equity financing round in August 2014.
Nutanix’s IPO may be approaching, though at a lower price. Its shares are currently priced at $11 to $13 each, giving the company a market cap of about $1.8 billion. Several private companies have been scared away from the IPO process because of the choppy stock market. However, the company’s I.P.O. was priced last Thursday evening at $23 per share, which implies a $2.18 billion valuation.
While most companies are cautious when it comes to IPO valuation, Nutanix has managed to raise its offering price on the eve of its IPO. The company has a robust revenue growth history and has managed to challenge big companies such as VMware. However, this IPO is not without risks and Nutanix has a number of downsides to watch out for.
As a private company, Nutanix was valued at $2 billion. The company wanted to go public at a discount to this, and set a price range of $11-$13 a share. However, it did not reach its goal of making more than $16 per share and is now trading on the Nasdaq under the symbol NTNX.
As an IPO, Nutanix rose more than 15 percent on day one. Investors saw this as a signal that the market is ready for more tech offerings. The company’s day-one price-growth of 131 percent was the largest of all IPOs in 2016, so it’s a signal that the market is ready for the next big thing in tech.
Okta is a company that offers cloud-based identity management software. This software allows businesses to ensure that employees access the right applications on the right devices and don’t commit security breaches. Its IPO on the Nasdaq raised $187 million, and the company is now valued at $1.5 billion.
Okta has raised $230 million in funding, including funding from Sequoia Capital, Janus Capital Group, Greylock Partners, and Andreessen Horowitz. Other investors include Khosla Ventures and McKinnon, which owns a 9.1 percent stake. Goldman Sachs and Pacific Crest Securities, which are acting as co-managers, are serving as co-managers.
Okta was rumored to go public for a while, but it didn’t actually go public until this week. It is offering Class A common stock on the Nasdaq market. It has 2,900 enterprise customers, including companies such as 20th Century Fox, Engie, Flex, LinkedIn, and MGM Resorts. It also has partnerships with NetSuite and ServiceNow. In addition, it has added a mobility management tool to its product suite. And it recently purchased API management provider Stormpath.
Despite the uncertainty, there are a few bright spots in the tech sector. Snap and MuleSoft went public this year, and Okta is another cloud software company making its debut on the public market. And the company is launching its IPO at $17 a share, which is above its expected range. The shares are trading at $24 per share today, and they’ve risen over 35 percent in the first few hours.
Yext, which creates software for managing businesses’ digital presence, is also planning an IPO in 2017. It hopes to raise $100 million in a public offering, but that number may change based on investor interest. It follows Snap, MuleSoft, and ForeScout, which went public in 2016.
The S-1 filing from the company reveals that the company’s revenues have been growing rapidly in recent years. Last year’s revenue grew by 109%, and during the first nine months of calendar year 2015, revenues increased by $111.5 million. However, the company has been posting losses as well. In FY 2015, the company lost $59.1 million and lost $76.3 million in FY 2016. And during the first nine months of calendar year 2015 it lost $65.3 million.
Okta was founded in 2009 with the purpose of helping companies with SLA compliance and reliability. However, it soon pivoted and began to focus on identity management. Today, it offers an integrated identity management and mobility management solution that connects users to applications on any device while ensuring that security parameters are met. Its services have a large customer base, including MGM Resorts and LinkedIn.
On Wednesday, Palantir Technologies, the most secretive data company in Silicon Valley, went public, offering its shares to the public for the first time. The company is best known for its controversial work with the US government. The company had raised $3.3 billion from private investors and VC firms before going public. However, it was unable to raise the full $20 billion valuation that it had sought through its IPO.
While Palantir has never been profitable, its losses have shrunk over time. Its reported net loss in the first half of 2019 was $110 million, compared to a loss of $285 million in the same period the previous year. That said, the company’s adjusted operating margins are improving, and it recently raised its free cash flow guidance from breakeven to over $150 million by 2021.
As a public company, Palantir went public in an unconventional way: a direct listing. While traditional IPOs can be complicated and time-consuming, direct listing allows companies to streamline the process. In a 2016 IPO filing, Palantir’s CEO, Alex Karp, expressed his company’s success in serving federal agencies and big businesses. As a result, over half of the company’s revenue comes from commercial clients.
The founders of Palantir will control about 50 percent of its voting power. This means that they will have effective control over the company’s decisions. Furthermore, because they own almost a fourth of the outstanding stock, the founders will have more than half of the voting power.
Palantir’s business model is unconventional. The company builds custom software and then sells it under a commercial software license. This allows it to sell the customized software to other clients. However, many critics claim that the company locks its customers into its technology. However, as the company prepares to go public, it faces a number of challenges, including competition from other technology firms.
While the company is still far from being profitable, its revenue outlook remains strong. It expects to grow at 30% a year over the next two years. As a result, the company is currently trading at 28x forward revenues. And its margins are picking up nicely, with the company reporting a 33% increase in the first half of 2021 compared to 3% last year. The company’s profitability could be improved as it scales up its commercial and government user base.
Without an IPO, Palantir could find itself in a very fraught position. If it raises new funding at a higher valuation, it could face legal challenges from its employees if it conceals information about the value of its stock. In addition, it could be held accountable for fraudulent accounting practices under Sarbanes-Oxley, a controversial act passed by Congress in 2002 to improve corporate governance.
Despite the challenges of the commercial market, Palantir has implemented several strategies that should help it expand its commercial business. These steps include increasing the company’s direct sales force and establishing new distribution channels. It has also forged partnerships with cloud providers, system integrators, and other complementary software companies. Additionally, it has moved toward a more standardized deployment model.