The Next WeWork

In looking at “things” I am always surprised that nobody seems to be able to find the “worst” companies out there. It seems like that should be an easy task.

I am not talking about companies that fail quickly in their infancy because the market spits the bit on their idea, but companies who fail because their monumental “success” is built on a foundation of feces. [In this instance, we are talking only $250,000,000 in funding, not quite WeWork $$$.]

Case in point? WeWork which was spotted from its genesis (by those who had a smidgen of real world, commercial real estate knowledge) as a horribly bastardized nightmare in an industry that has been around forever — FOREVER.

I wrote about the company, WeWork, some time ago.

We IPO — You Work, I Work, WeWork

I was critical at the time of its Messianic founder and his “real estate as a service” mantra. In retrospect, I could have been more critical and I was pretty damn critical. Continue reading


2020 Big IPOs — How Did They Do?

How did the biggest IPOs of 2020 fare as they rounded the corner into 2021, the change of administrations, the diminishment of COVID, and the burn off of any lock out periods for the original investors?

This “post lock out expiration” period is always an interesting bellwether.

Here are the 2020 IPO biggies:

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The Economic Splendor of Love — Bumble IPO

There is no more powerful force on planet Earth (Mars is supposed to be the same) than love.

To fall in love, one needs a target of that affection which brings us to Austin By God Texas based Bumble. Bumble (and sister company Badoo) is a “dating app” but, dear reader, it is so much more than that.

Bumble made its public debut today. Here are some interesting facts.

 1. Bumble’s Founder and CEO is Miss Whitney Wolfe Herd, a co-founder of Tinder (Tinder is owned by Match Group which trades at MTCH and is the 800-lbs gorilla in the space, so they thought).

Not every founder wears tee shirts and skinny jeans. Some go upscale glam when they need to. “Hello, Bumblers.”

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DoorDash Dashing To A Crash?

This is the week that was as it relates to Initial Public Offerings. Well, last week also.

Amongst the IPO royalty is a company called “DoorDash” (DASH) that hit the IPO switch on Wednesday and was up almost 90% on its first day of public trading.

DD had already re-priced its IPO price based on demand twice during the lead up to their birth as a public company, so the deal was pretty rich.

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The Pricing of IPOs

Comes now the triumphant case of Austin, Texas based BigCommerce who IPOed at $24/share on Tuesday. It was cause for local pride and a bit of celebration.

But, was it really?

Absorb these facts:

 1. Company comes public at $24/share and nets $216,000,000.

Well played. Bravo! Years of hard work come together. The American Dream is alive in Austin By God Texas.

 2. Stock price closed that day at $72.27/share, a nifty 201% above the IPO price in less than one full day of trading. [Helen, I think we go with the big Lexus.]

 3. On Wednesday, stock opens at $68, rewarding the folks who got a slice of the IPO and the investment bankers who bought the 15% over-allotment, the Green Shoe, for which they paid $24/share.

 4. Stock closed at $91.80/share on that same Thursday. At this price, the company’s market cap is in the $7B range. A lot of value was created for the founders and the venture capitalists who threw in over $200MM to build this baby.

I love the smell of capitalism in the morning.

For those doing the math, confirm that the $24/share to $91.80/share run is a 283% gain. Not a bad performance for two days.

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Casper — CSPR — The Unfriendly Mattress Company

So, Casper — CSPR NYSE — got public at a value that is a meaningful  discount to the last venture money valuation. Still, they got public.

The IPO went through some birth canal stress, exiting as a skinnier version of its most recent $1.2B private value. It is currently showing a public market cap of $346MM. That is one Hell of a haircut.

“Could you nip it a little close on the sides, please? But, don’t amputate the ears?”

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The Casper IPO IQ Test

After a blood bath with the failed WeWork, the IPO market is coming back for another IQ test — how stupid are you?

This is not a drill.

Comes hither our sleepy friends Casper, the mattress folks.

Casper isn’t spooked by IPO woes

Could investors ghost the Casper IPO?


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