December 10, 2021
To say that 2021 was characterized by economic instability may be something of an understatement. It’s also hard to argue that there weren’t some winners in the stock market as well – many of which were initial public offerings.
This year was a robust one for the IPO market. According to Stock Analysis, an online source for stock data and information, there were 1,017 IPOs on the US stock market this year as of December 7th. That sum represents a 136% gain over the same period last year, which saw 431 IPOs on that date. Here’s a look at some consumer-facing companies that went public this year.
Let’s start with Roblox Corporation (Tii:RBLX), a video game designer based in California that, while originally founded back in 2004, went public on March 10th. The initial price was $45, and while off its highs, shares traded around 117 on December 9th – a gain of 160%. While this is impressive, it should also come as no surprise during a period when people are clamoring for entertainment. This demand led to increased consumer spending on video games and virtual worlds and a rise in e-sports interest. While the company reported a $74 million net loss for its third quarter, revenue increased 102% to $509.3 million.
Industry-leading online employment marketplace ZipRecruiter, Inc. (Tii:ZIP) went public on May 26th at $18. Since then, the stock has gained approximately 50% as corporate demand for talent remains near all-time highs. This demand has resulted in record quarterly revenue, which increased 107% year over year to reach $213 million in the company’s third quarter. ZipRecruiter further predicted fourth-quarter revenue to increase between 78% and 83% compared with the same period last year.
As a curator of leading brands across the boutique fitness industry, Xponential Fitness, Inc. (Tii:XPOF) hit the public markets on July 23rd at $12.00 per share. By December, its shares gained nearly 90%. The company bills itself as the largest global franchisor of boutique fitness, having 1,907 studios worldwide. Xponential Fitness, which benefited from increased consumer interest in health and fitness, owns a portfolio of brands that includes Club Pilates, CycleBar, StretchLab, Row House, AKT, YogaSix, STRIDE, Rumble and BFT. That consumer interest in all things healthy contributed to a 60% year-over-year rise in revenue for Xponential’s third quarter.
With increased consumer ESG awareness, heightened government environmental mandates and corporate pledges to decrease carbon footprints, the electric vehicle market remained hot in 2021. California-based electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian Automotive, Inc. (Tii:RIVN) benefits from this move toward greener autos. The automaker went public on November 10th and has gained some 50% some 30 days later. While part of this is due to increased demand for electric vehicles, there’s also speculation that Rivian could become a major rival to industry leader Tesla Inc. (Tii:TSLA). Whether this comes to pass remains to be seen, but the existing demand for Rivian vehicles is apparent. The company reports more than 55,000 preorders for its R1T truck and R1S SUVs and 100,000 orders from Amazon.com Inc. (Tii:AMZN) for its Electric Delivery Van.
Last but not least, we have Esports Technologies, Inc. (Tii:EBET), a licensed online gaming operator focused on eSports and competitive gaming events that is able to accept wagers in approximately 149 jurisdictions worldwide. Esports Technologies shares have gained about 300% since its April 15th IPO. Much of this has to do with the fact that the eSports market itself has experienced incredible growth. Esports Technologies used a portion of its IPO proceeds to finance the acquisition of Aspire Global’s B2C business for $75.9 million. The portfolio of proprietary online casino and sportsbook brands recorded wagering of $1.86 billion and $183 million in cash deposits from 1.25 million customers for the 12 months ended September 2021.
There are a lot of questions to be answered on the IPO front in 2022. Will the plethora of special purpose acquisition companies (SPACS) continue? Will we see record numbers of IPOs, or will the pipeline dry up amid economic uncertainties and a lingering pandemic? While only time will tell, there will undoubtedly be some consumer brands with successful IPOs – and happy investors – by this time next year.
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