Feb 11, 2019

Shattering the "IPO window"

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The traditional "IPO window" for tech companies has been shattered, says Scenic Advisement, a San Francisco-based investment bank that works with private companies.

Why it matters: Trends like staying private longer and raising more money before going public have changed the equation, and we'll see a wider variety of approaches instead of one-size-fits-all.

"It's not ever gonna look the same again," Scenic Advisement co-founder Barrett Cohn tells Axios of startups seeking perfect market conditions and then getting the first-day price pop. "If there's a market issue, companies are gonna find a way to get it done."

  • Expect to see many high-profile companies float a relatively small number of shares, including IPOs in which only one class of stock is listed for companies with multiple classes (to better maintain control).
  • Expect to see more IPO "alternatives," like the direct listing route taken by Spotify and (coming soon) Slack.
  • Liquidity via secondary sales or acquisitions will continue to be a popular option.

Yes, but: The IPO window may have been a mirage all along. "The IPO window was already greatly exaggerated," Lise Buyer, founder of IPO consulting firm Class V Group, adding that it's only ever truly shut after a major financial crisis or if the government is shut down.

Go deeper: Fundraising no longer the top goal of some tech IPOs

Go deeper

Exclusive: Global trust in the tech industry is slipping

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The backlash against Big Tech has long flourished among pundits and policymakers, but a new survey suggests it's beginning to show up in popular opinion as well.

Driving the news: New data from Edelman out Tuesday finds that trust in tech companies is declining and that people trust cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence less than they do the industry overall.

"It was 30 years ago, get over it": Mike Bloomberg's partner brushes off NDA concerns

Diana Taylor at a Mike Bloomberg event last month. Photo: Ron Adar/Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Diana Taylor, Mike Bloomberg's longtime partner, dismissed the concerns surrounding non-disclosure agreements used at his company, Bloomberg LP, telling CBS News that she would say to those bothered by the allegations, "It was 30 years ago, get over it."

Why it matters: Democratic candidates have used the NDAs as a talking point against Bloomberg, calling on him to allow women to speak about the reported sexual harassment and gender discrimination they faced while working for him.

Trump's opportunity to use Bernie as an economic scapegoat

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Zach Gibson/Stringer, The Washington Post/Getty Contributor

Bernie Sanders is poised to become an economic scapegoat for both the White House and Corporate America, assuming that Sanders comes through Super Tuesday unscathed.

The big picture: If the U.S. economy remains strong, President Trump and CEOs will claim credit (as they've been doing for three years). If it turns sour, they'll blame Bernie (even though it's a largely baseless charge).