Hail, Uber! Uber went public last week with great fanfare befitting the third largest Initial Public Offering in US history. Hoorah, Uber! All hail Uber!
Then, they ran into reality and reality drowned them with surge pricing.
Uber came public at the low end of the proposed range (already a huge disappointment when compared to the investment bank courtship days) and promptly fell, making it the largest first day IPO loser in US history. Hello, America.
In fairness to Uber, the markets have been reeling with the US-China trade treaty negotiation news and the imposition of tariffs and retaliatory tariffs. [Trump’s fault?]
Lyft — a competitor — was also tanking adding to the cloud over the market and the IPO world.
Blue Apron — APRN NYSE — is a meal recipe/delivery company (OK, meal-kit delivery is the right buzz word, shoot me) that went public back in 2017. It was once upon a time a Unicorn. Here is what the stock has done since coming out at $10/share in July 2017 and thereby earning it a title as a $2B Unicorn. Bravo! Oh, wait. Belay that bravo, please.
As you can also see, things have not gone so well since then. Most recently the last founder has shed the CEO role as the company brought in a new CEO, Linda Findley Kozlowski, the former COO of Etsy. [All of the founders have flown the coop now.]
LFK left Etsy when they eliminated her position. She had been with them for three years. Folks fancy her an expert in eCommerce and consumer-focused business. She was also the COO of Evernote and the Director of Global Marketing and Customer Experience at Alibaba Group Holding, Ltd. Player, to be sure. Tough hill to climb.
First quarter of 2019 was a bust for tech Initial Public Offerings. Some blame it on the government shutdown and the inability to get the United States Securities and Exchange Commission to respond to preliminary S-1s (registration document). Fair play to that sentiment.
A company files an S-1, the US SEC reviews it, the SEC provides comments, and the issuer makes revisions in response to the SEC’s comments. Now, your preliminary S-1 has become a final S-1 and you are registered. In two weeks, you can begin banging your drum. If the government is shut down, this process doesn’t happen.
If you just take a Mulligan for Q1-2019 and focus on the rest of the year, you may see a deep lineup of tech companies, familiar names amongst them, getting ready to make the leap.
Here is my favorite recent public offering, demonstrating her flexible approach to the world. Can you reach down and grab your foot while in a seated position? Her name is Tempe and she is a Southern girl from Savannah. But, I digress.