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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

We've all pulled out folding chairs to watch the post-Labor Day IPO parade. In particular, the floats from high-fliers like WeWork, Peloton, Cloudflare, DataDog, and SmileDirectClub.

Yes, but: Perhaps the most interesting IPO will take place 4,400 miles south of New York, in the tiny South American country of Guyana. The issuer is Pomeroon Trading, an upstart coconut and spice farm co-founded by a Stanford Business School graduate named Duncan Turnbull.

  • It only seeks to raise around $1 million but, if successful, it would be the first-ever agricultural company to list on the Guyana Stock Exchange and only the exchange's third new listing in the past decade.
  • The road-show will stop in Barbados and Trinidad, instead of in San Francisco and Boston.

Why it matters: Guyana, home to fewer than one million people, is poised to become the world's next petro-state, with Exxon Mobil's first major oil production vessel arriving just the other day. But no one knows if tiny country's government can properly manage the inflows, and companies like Pomeroon Trading could help preemptively diversify its exports (i.e., help Guyana avoid becoming the next Venezuela).

Background: Turnbull grew up in Northern England selling pigs. He later became an investment banker and then headed to Stanford, knowing he wanted to work in the agricultural industry.

  • In Guyana he saw the traditional sugar and tobacco crops, but was stunned by the relative lack of coconuts, despite the climate and growing global demand for coconut oil and coconut water.
  • Turnbull and a partner leased out a 1,000 acre farm to form Pomeroon, and got to work creating new on-farm infrastructure and processing facilities, planting dwarf trees, and testing out a few new crops (e.g., passion fruit, moringa).
  • It also hired over 50 locals (half of whom are women), and generated cash crop revenue from existing plants while the new ones grow, with expectations that the IPO would let it lease new land.
  • "It blows my mind that the Caribbean is net importer of coconuts. Even the cruise ships that go around are making handicrafts out of coconuts from India, not from countries like Guyana," Turnbull said.

The bottom line: Again, they're only seeking to raise $1 million. That's usually pocket change in this space. But, for both current Guyana residents and for the country's diaspora, it's an opportunity to invest locally at a time when one of the world's largest companies just laid contractual claim to newfound natural resources.

Go deeper

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse under scrutiny for elite club affiliations

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse during a Senate hearing on Capitol Hill in February. Photo: Susan Walsh-Pool/Getty Image

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) said in a statement Wednesday that he is a member of an exclusive Rhode Island sailing club that lacks diversity.

Why it matters: Whitehouse has repeatedly spoken out against systemic racism and come under scrutiny this week for his family's affiliation with elite clubs. This is the second such club accused of lacking diversity that the senator has been linked to in recent days

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Border Democrats want migrants vaccinated

Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Tex.) Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Some Democrats representing border districts want President Biden to vaccinate migrants crossing into the U.S. — especially if he lifts public health restrictions that have prevented them from claiming asylum on American soil.

Why it matters: Inoculating migrants treads a fine line of protecting the U.S. population while possibly incentivizing more migration with the offer of free COVID-19 vaccines. Republicans are likely to pounce on that.

2 hours ago - World

State Dept. fears Chinese threats to labor auditors

A space for media is designated by Chinese authorities near a mosque in the Xinjiang region of China. Photo: Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

The State Department is concerned organizations performing supply-chain audits in China are coming under pressure from Chinese authorities.

Why it matters: U.S. law prohibits importing products made through forced labor, but it's becoming increasingly difficult to verify whether products from China are tainted.

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