June 8, 2021
The market for initial public offerings (IPOs) continues its hot streak as we near the mid-point of 2021. According to Stock Analysis, an online source for stock data and information, there were 497 IPOs on U.S.-based stock exchanges this year as of June 4th. That sum represents a 653% gain over the same period last year, which saw 66 IPOs on that date.
While technology, healthcare, blank check companies, and special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) continue to drive much of the activity on the IPO front, let’s look at a few of the leading performers that went public this year.
The growth of e-sports over the past few years is well documented. With expectations that the industry will surpass $1 billion this year, e-sports’ popularity has transcended fad status to become an industry in its own right. Market research provider Statista predicts the number of e-sports enthusiasts to climb to 286 million worldwide by 2024, compared with 197 million in 2019. Esports Technologies Inc. (Tii:EBET), which went public on April 13th, is looking to capitalize on the popularity of competitive gaming and gambling. Based in Las Vegas, Esports Technologies is a licensed online gaming operator focused on esports and competitive gaming events, able to accept wagers in approximately 149 jurisdictions worldwide. The company’s shares currently trade at $21.56, a 259% gain from its $6 IPO price.
The semiconductor supply shortage has made headlines all year. Upended by last year’s pandemic, chip manufacturing has yet to recover. This dearth has impacted the production of everything ranging from gaming consoles to automobiles and a lot more. In fact, Goldman Sachs analysis uncovered 169 industries that were either directly or indirectly impacted by the shortage. U.S.-based pure-play semiconductor foundry and DOD-accredited trusted supplier, SkyWater Technology Inc. (Tii:SKYT) is one of the newer players in the semiconductor industry. The company, which serves the aerospace and computing industries, among others, raised about $100 million from its April 21st IPO, with shares priced at $14. SkyWater’s shares are trading at $26.91 as of June 4th, a gain of more than 92% from its IPO price.
While we are all familiar with Apple and Android phones and accessories, a slew of other companies are looking to carve out a piece of this vast market, which was valued at more than $65 billion in 2019. China-based United Time Technology Co., Ltd. (Tii:UTME) is a mobile device manufacturer with two selling verticals – its UTIME division selling higher-end products and a division focused on producing more affordable mobile technology. Shares of the company, which went public on April 10th at $4, have gained 1,165% to trade at $50.60 as of June 4th.
The company behind the online game platform and game creation system that gained substantial popularity with children, Roblox Corporation (Tii:RBLX), went public on March 10th at $45. The company, whose platform also allows users to upload their own games, has gained some 130% to trade around $103 as of June 4th. As of August 2020, Roblox had over 164 million monthly active users, over half of which is made up of children under 16 years of age in the United States.
One of the world’s largest resale platforms for women’s and kids’ apparel, shoes and accessories, ThredUp Inc. (Tii:TDUP) appeals to bargain-hunting consumers who enjoy browsing at consignment or thrift shops. The company, which has processed over 100 million unique secondhand items from 35,000 brands across 100 categories, went public on March 25th at $14 per share. Its shares are trading some 65% higher to $23.21 as of June 4th.
Whether the IPO market will continue its meteoric rise or come back down to Earth remains to be seen. But as long as some IPOs experience short-term price appreciation similar to shares of the companies mentioned here, there will be investors looking to get in on the action.