Be still, my beating heart. Is that the sound of the IPO market stirring? We scooped the news today that event-ticketing firm SeatGeek had filed confidentially with regulators to go public, just a few of days after blockchain firm Chia Network Inc. said it had done the same. (For more on Chia, see our Crypto Global newsletter today). A long queue of other companies was already waiting for the right moment to go public, including Instacart, Reddit, travel startup Navan and possibly Rippling, judging from comments by CEO Parker Conrad in our weekend profile of him.
Given the performance of tech stocks so far this year, the IPO market’s moment could be this fall. The Nasdaq is up 16% year to date and many of the stocks beaten up severely last year have recovered a little. (Few are likely to recover fully for a good long while.) Sure, the market’s going to continue bouncing around, particularly if interest rates keep going up. But it seems likely that come Labor Day, we might start to see some offerings hit the market. The good news is that valuations have come down over the past 12 months, which means there’s less chance of investors getting burned by ridiculously overpriced IPOs like those we saw during the last days of the boom in 2021. We’re thinking of shoemaker Allbirds and electric truck maker Rivian, whose stocks have fallen 91% and 84%, respectively, since their IPOs in November 2021.