Tech companies are lining up to go public — here’s what we learned from the most recent wave of IPO filings

A DoorDash Inc. supply particular person locations an order into an insulated bag at Chef Geoff’s restaurant in Washington, D.C.

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Photos

Tech buyers have loads of studying to do over the Thanksgiving vacation within the type of IPO filings. DoorDash, Airbnb, Affirm, Roblox and Wish all unveiled their prospectuses prior to now eight days, with plans to go public earlier than year-end.

They’re benefiting from a post-election rally that is lifted U.S. inventory indexes close to document highs and a transparent demand within the public marketplace for high-growth investments.

All 5 firms serve shoppers and may anticipate a busy vacation season within the face of surging coronavirus circumstances and a drastically altered financial system. It is a very totally different slate of entrants to the market than the earlier rush in September, when numerous enterprise software program firms like Snowflake and Palantir made their debuts.

They every have distinct narratives tied to the coronavirus.

DoorDash income greater than tripled within the third quarter as many eating places turned to supply as their major supply of enterprise. Youngsters gaming platform Roblox reported 91% income development in the newest quarter (measured vs. final 12 months), because it benefitted from faculty closures and extra customers searching for methods to remain entertained away from their associates.

Affirm, which presents point-of-sale on-line loans for shoppers shopping for attire, electronics, residence items and different objects, nearly doubled income within the newest quarter as folks more and more turned to the web for his or her purchases. Want, an internet low cost retail market, can also be benefiting from the ecommerce increase. However its third-quarter development was extra muted at 33%, partly as a result of most of its retailers are primarily based in China and are nonetheless coping with provide chain challenges.

Airbnb is the corporate most damage by the pandemic, which has flattened the journey financial system. However it’s discovered a distinct segment in combining trip properties with remote work and is positioning itself for an financial rebound.

Here is what we realized from every firm’s S-1 submitting, listed within the order of once they had been filed:


Read the full filing here.

Prime line: Income jumped to $879 million within the third quarter from $239 million a 12 months earlier, spurred by order development of 237%. For the primary 9 months of the 12 months, orders climbed to 543 million, up from 181 million in the identical interval final 12 months.

Backside line: Web loss narrowed to $42 million from $152 million a ear in the past. Via three quarters of 2020, DoorDash generated a optimistic contribution margin of 23%, in contrast with a damaging margin final 12 months of 32%, that means the corporate is lastly, on common, getting cash from each order.

Covid story: DoorDash has taken benefit of its share positive aspects lately — it has nearly 50% management of the U.S. meal supply market — to get its model in entrance of shoppers at a time once they’re ordering meals at unprecedented charges. Individuals will ultimately return to consuming out, and eating places reliant on supply will constantly search for extra inexpensive methods to function. As DoorDash warns in its prospectus: “The circumstances which have accelerated the rise in Complete Orders stemming from the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic could not proceed sooner or later, and we anticipate the expansion price in Complete Orders to say no in future durations.”


Read the full filing here.

Prime line: Third-quarter income dropped 18% from a 12 months in the past, to $1.34 billion. It is a massive decline, with a steeper bookings drop anticipated within the fourth quarter as a result of the pandemic is preserving folks near residence. However persons are utilizing Airbnb for non-urban leases and to search out artistic methods to work remotely, serving to the corporate climate the disaster higher than motels, airways and on-line journey businesses.

Backside line: Airbnb reported a web earnings of $219 million within the third quarter, a slight drop from a 12 months earlier. The corporate lower its workforce by 25% in Could and slashed its advertising and marketing funds, resulting in a 75% plunge in gross sales and advertising and marketing prices.

Covid story: Airbnb was poised to be the tech IPO of the 12 months coming into 2020, sporting a $35 billion valuation with a seamless promise to rework the way in which shoppers journey. When enterprise got here to a halt late within the first quarter, Airbnb needed to flip to the debt markets, elevating $2 billion in high-interest loans, and lower its valuation. Potential long-term buyers can have a look at Airbnb’s capability to adapt to a brand new actuality sooner than its rivals as a motive to get in now, together with the expectation that we’re not going to be locked down perpetually.


Read the full filing here.

Prime line: For the interval ended Sept. 30, income jumped 98% from a 12 months in the past, to $174 million. Essentially the most development got here from its service provider community, the web companies that provide Affirm loans when objects are being bought. The corporate works with over 6,500 retailers, together with Peloton, West Elm and Pottery Barn, and it has a partnership with Shopify.

Backside line: Affirm’s web loss within the quarter narrowed by about half from a 12 months in the past, to $15.three million. On a proportion foundation, the largest price enhance got here in gross sales and advertising and marketing, the place bills quadrupled to $22.6 million tied to its new relationship with Shopify.

Covid story: The variety of energetic shoppers surged to three.9 million within the quarter from 2.four million a 12 months earlier. The direct-to-consumer pattern that is fueling on-line commerce and pushing Shopify’s inventory larger can also be driving Affirm. Look no additional than Peloton, which accounts for 30% of Affirm’s income and is flourishing from the at-home increase. Peloton’s income within the newest quarter greater than tripled and the inventory is up 290% this 12 months.


Read the full filing here.

Prime line: Income within the third quarter elevated 91% to $242 million. The corporate’s gaming platform lets children construct an avatar that they will take between video games, and spend cash on a digital foreign money known as Robux for premium options. Each day energetic customers nearly doubled within the interval ended September from the year-ago quarter, to 36.2 million. A metric the corporate calls “hours engaged” greater than doubled to eight.7 billion.

Backside line: Web loss within the third quarter greater than doubled to $48 million from a 12 months earlier. Gross sales and advertising and marketing prices had been flat, however there was a steep enhance in developer trade charges, which greater than tripled to $81.9 million. That is the cash Roblox shares with recreation builders when shoppers spend cash of their titles. “Many customers ultimately grow to be builders and creators, and practically all builders and creators began as customers,” the corporate says in its prospectus.

Covid story: Along with spending extra money and time on the app as a result of they’re residence, customers are additionally internet hosting digital birthday events and different gatherings on Roblox, producing one other income stream for the corporate. Whereas Roblox has lured many extra customers throughout the pandemic who’re prone to preserve utilizing the app, there merely will not be as many display hours obtainable when faculties reopen.


Read the full filing here.

Prime line: Income within the third quarter rose 33% to $606 million. Want, recognized for deep reductions, continues to profit from the transfer to on-line commerce, and the elevated consolation that buyers have shopping for objects from their telephones. Month-to-month energetic customers rose to 108 million within the first 9 months of 2020 from 81 million in the identical interval a 12 months in the past.

Backside line: Web loss narrowed to $99 million from $134 million on account of a 13% drop in gross sales and advertising and marketing prices as the corporate shifted funding to its logistics platform.

Covid story: Want was notably uncovered to the early days of the pandemic as a result of most of its retailers are based in China, the place Covid-19 first began spreading. Income dropped within the first quarter then picked up within the second. However the firm mentioned that retailers proceed to undergo from provide chain disruptions and sluggish supply instances to varied elements of the world.

WATCH: Roblox files to IPO, and a theatrical twist?


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