Venture Bytes #68 – Looking Ahead to 2021 – Top IPO Picks
As we leave behind a turbulent year in many respects, we are looking forward to 2021 with renewed optimism. Our top-IPO picks for 2021 lead off our lead article, followed by the second article, which throws some light on the spectacular rise of SPACs and what to expect in 2021. 2020 was the biggest year for IPOs since 2014, even after excluding SPACs. According to Renaissance Capital, the average IPO in 2020 returned 75%, the best performance since the late 90s bubble years.There are still more than 500 unicorns in the private market and roughly 71 companies have selected bankers or filed confidential paperwork to go public, according to market data from CB Insights. A major silver lining during this pandemic has been a deeper recognition of secular transformational technologies and trends. Our top picks for 2021 reflect these technologies and trends. Special Purpose Acquisition Companies or SPACs have been on a tear. According to Goldman Sachs, there were 219 global SPAC IPOs as of December 18, 2020, raising a total of $73 billion, outpacing the $67 billion raised via IPOs, and considerably above the aggregate amount raised in 2019. Will 2021 be another banner year for SPACs? Very likely so given the spate of recent announcements, including the newest SPACs sponsored by Softbank. That said, with over 3 times the total number of SPAC IPOs in 2020, the percentage of SPACs that can find suitable targets will likely decline in 2021 due to the 18 to 24 month time limit, and increased competition.