August 26, 2020
After taking a few punches in the early part of the year on the heels of the coronavirus pandemic, the IPO market began to show signs of life in the late spring. This happened on the strength of cloud-based productivity tools providers, online retailers, innovative healthcare and other products and services that can either withstand the fallout of the pandemic or benefit from the resulting shifts in consumer behavior – like the work-from-home trend that made Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (Tii:ZM) a household name. With more companies in the pipeline and a rejuvenated public equities market, we decided to take a look at some of the compelling new offerings for the year.
Accolade, Inc. (Tii:ACCD)
Anyone who has ever navigated America’s healthcare system understands it can be a master class in frustration. Going public on July 2, Accolade looks to eliminate those challenges using a blend of cloud-based technologies and integrated data and programs to help consumers better understand and manage the healthcare system workplace benefits. The company’s customers are mainly employers who utilize Accolade’s technology to provide employees and their families with a one-stop-shop for health, healthcare and benefits needs.
Akouos, Inc. (Tii:AKUS)
File this one under a really complicated technology put to use for a very good cause. Hitting the public markets on June 26, Boston-based Akouos is a genetic medicine company that develops therapies with the potential to restore, improve and preserve high-acuity physiologic hearing for people worldwide who live with certain forms of hearing loss.
Li Auto Inc. (Tii:LI)
Another player in the growing U.S. electric vehicle market, this Beijing-based auto manufacturer went public on July 30, raising $1.1 billion in the process. The company targets China's middle-class consumers looking for eco-friendly vehicles that can still accommodate a family. Li Auto's inaugural model, a six-seat SUV, sold at a subsidized price of roughly $46,800.
Montrose Environmental Group, Inc. (Tii:MEG)
Those interested in Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG)-related companies may want to take a look at Montrose Environmental Group. Hitting the NYSE on July 23, the company supports government and commercial organizations with a range of services, from air measurement and laboratory services to regulatory compliance, permitting, engineering, and remediation.
Muscle Maker, Inc. (Tii:GRIL)
With consumers becoming increasingly health-conscious during a time when many fitness centers remain closed, a fast casual restaurant concept specializing in healthy-inspired, fresh, made-to-order lean, protein-based meals is a refreshing change from the usual fare. Shares of this company, which operates via its Muscle Maker Grill and Healthy Joe’s brands, began trading on February 13. Adapting to current conditions, Muscle Maker recently began operating ghost kitchens (professional food preparation and cooking facilities for delivery-only meals) to cover the entire Chicago market at a fraction of the cost it would take to build out traditional locations for the same coverage.
Nano-X Imaging Ltd. (Tii:NNOX)
Medical diagnostic technology has been an area of interest to consumers and investors alike in recent years. A new player in this space comes by way of Israeli startup Nano-X Imaging. The company, whose shares began trading August 21, has developed a cutting-edge scanner that uses microelectromechanical system semiconductors, eliminating the need for the expensive cooling devices required by today’s X-Ray devices. Nano-X hopes to see its products in use across a host of clinical and diagnostic procedures.
Rocket Companies (Tii:RKT)
Rocket began trading just a few weeks ago and closed up 30% on its first day of trading. In business since 1985, Rocket launched its online platform five years ago. This aims to make the process of getting a mortgage simple and fast. Revenue went from $3.8 billion to $5.1 billion, a 6% compounded annual rate. Shares of Rocket rose more than 12% on August 24th on increased demand for mortgage-related services.
Vroom, Inc. (Tii:VRM)
An e-commerce player with a fun name, Vroom provides a platform for buying and selling used vehicles, offering an extensive selection of vehicles, transparent pricing, competitive financing, and contact-free at-home pick-up and delivery. The company, whose shares started trading on June 9, reported earlier this month that e-commerce units sold increased 74.1% while average monthly unique visitors to its website increased 59.1%, quite possibly on the current appeal of contact-free automotive purchasing and delivery.
Warner Music Group (Tii:WMG)
The global record label and entertainment conglomerate that was once public, taken private and now public again begain trading on the NASDAQ on June 3, raising nearly $2 billion in the process. Since then, WMG has expanded aggressively, growing its presence in India, Singapore and other markets. The company recently acquired IMGN Media, a digital media company that creates and curates shareable social media content on mobile-first platforms and operates a portfolio of media brands in esports, gaming, entertainment, ASMR, and more.
WiMi Hologram Cloud Inc. (Tii:WIMI)
Any company with the word ‘Hologram’ in its name has got to be pretty compelling to the inner geek in us all. Hitting the U.S. public markets on April 1, Beijing-based WiMi Hologram Cloud develops immersive and interactive AR-based holographic products and services for a host of fields, including advertising, entertainment, education, and 5G communication. The company announced recently that it established a new subsidiary to accelerate the development of its holographic vision intelligent robots and fabless semiconductor businesses.