In 2018, fintech companies have raised massive funding rounds at very high valuations. These announcements have often let experts and analysts predict an Initial Public Offering as the natural “next step” for some of them.
But an IPO is not eitheir in their plans or they are not so close to it. Given this, below, we present the current position of four companies which have been considered as the main candidates on the path to an IPO in 2019. Plans look different from what has been too easily predicted, actually.
Have a look at them:
Palo Alto, California-based investment platform Robinhood revealed IPO plans during 2018. Launched in 2015 by Vlad Tenev and Baiju Bhatt, the company offers commission-free U.S. equity and options trading, as well as margin and extended hours trading (via a paid service called Robinhood Gold). The service already counts over six million users and billions of dollars in transaction volume. In addition to Robinhood Gold, for which it charges between $10 to $200 per month, the company makes money by collecting interest on capital its users store in their Robinhood accounts, as well as selling order flow to stock exchanges looking to secure more liquidity for their traders.
Despite some regulatory issues coming out at the end of 2018 around its cash management program launching in 2019, the company seems not to have changed its plans.
Robinhood is backed with $540m by DST Global, Index Ventures, NEA, and Thrive Capital, and was valued at $5.6 billion in 2018.
Often predicted as the next IPO is San Francisco, CA-based personal finance technology company Credit Karma. Founded in 2007 by Kenneth Lin, Nichole Mustard and Ryan Graciano, the company offers a suite of products for members to monitor and improve their credit health and provides identity monitoring and auto insurance estimates. With more than 85m members in the US and Canada, including almost half of all millennials, Credit Karma leverages advanced data modeling to analyze and identify the best financial products for its members. To date, it has facilitated more than $40 billion in credit lines across financial products like credit cards, personal loans, mortgage refinancing, automotive financing and student loan refinancing.
Anyways, expressely asked by Bloomberg, CEO Ken Lin said an IPO has never been a priority for the company.
In 2018, Silver Lake acquired a significant minority stake in Credit Karma worth approximately $500m from existing equity holders through an organized secondary process.
A company with no IPO in sight but growing fast is Stripe, the San Francisco, CA-based provider of a payments infrastructure platform which allows companies of every size – from new startups to public companies – to accept payments and manage their businesses online. Even if the company has not revealed any plan, we would be not surprised to see them on the IPO track.
Led by CEO Patrick Collison, the company raised $245m in funding in September 2018 in a round that valued it at $20 billion!
Stripe is now continuing to work to expand its international reach, scale its engineering talent around the world (in San Francisco, Seattle, Dublin, and Singapore), grow the capabilities of its global payments and treasury network, which lets businesses move money quickly anywhere in the world. The company is also building out its operations and enterprise features, as larger businesses move to its platform, which is today live in 25 countries.
Stripe now powers millions of businesses worldwide, including recent new customers Google, Mindbody, Spotify, and Uber.
Backers in the company include Tiger Global Management DST Global, Sequoia, Andreessen Horowitz, Kleiner Perkins, Khosla Ventures, General Catalyst, and Thrive Capital.
Next IPO plans have recently been denied by Asiff Hirji, Coinbase COO and President. Following its latest $300m Series E funding round, which valued the company at at $8 billion in October, the rumors about a possible IPO sparked. Founded in June of 2012 and led by Brian Armstrong, CEO, and Says, Coinbase is a digital currency wallet and platform which allows merchants and consumers to transact with new digital currencies like bitcoin, ethereum, ethereum classic, litecoin, and ZRX.
The company, which has had 20M+ users and $150B+ traded to date, is continuing to explore the addition of new assets, such as Cardano, Aeternity, Aragon , Bread Wallet, Civic, Dai, district0x, EnjinCoin, EOS, Golem Network, IOST, Kin, Kyber Network, ChainLink, Loom Network, Loopring, Decentraland, Mainframe, Maker, NEO, OmiseGo, Po.et, QuarkChain, Augur, Request Network, Status, Storj, Stellar, XRP, Tezos, and Zilliqa.
Mr Hirji said that Coinbase’s focus is on building a great business before thinking to go public.