There have been more than 1,600 global initial public offerings (IPOs), including a number of highly anticipated direct listings, and over 500 special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) floatations on the market in 2021.
With so many to choose from, it’s hard to narrow it down to just a handful. But below we have picked our top three IPOs from the past year.
Rivian (NASDAQ: RIVN) was late to the 2021 IPO party. Having only gone public as of November 10, it was the sixth-largest IPO of all time! Rivian is an electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer that, for now, is focusing on producing electric delivery vans and electric pickup trucks.
Take an exciting IPO, add a dash of EV mania, sprinkle a visionary founder and just a hint of ‘Tesla Killer’ headlines, and voila, let the speculation begin.
The market dove straight into a speculative frenzy with Rivian shares rising to its $172 per share peak (approx $150 billion market cap) on its opening day, but then retreated and stabilized. So, with that in mind, is it investable?
It has generated little to no revenue aside from the backing of tech giant Amazon (22% stake) and its 100,000 electric delivery van order in place. With over 44,000 reservations for its pickups, we will have to wait and see how production goes and whether or not Rivian can realistically grow into its wild valuation.
What it does have is a suite of products in the Rivian ecosystem, including financing, insurance, charging networks, and membership products, but for now, we’ll be waiting on its quarterly reports to see if there’s any real potential there.
I really like the company, but as an investment right now, not so much.
We’re cheating a little. Roblox (NASDAQ: RBLX) wasn’t actually an IPO, it was a direct listing. But we can’t not mention Roblox; it’s a metaverse stock after all. It joined Wall Street at a $41 billion valuation on its first day of trading and its shares have only seen new highs since. Roblox, until recently, was perhaps misunderstood — and you can’t blame investors — most won’t have had any exposure to the Roblox platform unless their kids, nieces, or nephews are using it.
Roblox is a gaming platform that attracts players and developers to its product in order to build their own games. Based on the popularity of these games, the creators get rewarded. A simple comparison is to how Google’s YouTube Platform works. Put out the content, and YouTube pays you based on views and interaction time.
On top of that, Roblox has its own unique in-platform virtual currency, Robux. This is the native currency players use to participate in games and buy virtual goods and accessories, and it can be purchased on a once-off or a subscription basis.
For many, the knowledge gap may deter them from investing, but Roblox has been around for 17 years now and is cementing itself among the greats in online gaming such as ‘Minecraft’, ‘World of Warcraft’, and ‘Fortnite’.
Affirm (NASDAQ: AFRM), among others is behind the ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ (BNPL) craze that allows buyers to pay for their purchases over a series of convenient installments. Affirm initially went public at just $49 per share ($12 billion market cap), but before trading even started, that valuation had almost doubled.
Since then, Affirm’s services have been integrated with Amazon’s e-commerce platform — it has to be involved with everything, doesn’t it — along with other key partnerships with companies like Walmart and Shopify which saw Affirm’s shares shoot up to approx $130 per share by November.
Affirm’s ability to integrate its credit services with these businesses makes in an interesting watch as we move into 2022.
Financial Writer at MyWallSt
David's favorite stock is Google. He's a daily user of its YouTube platform, where you can learn or find something brand new at the touch of a button. He believes the company will continue to grow for many years to come.