The year few expected
Back in March 2020, as the impacts of the pandemic were starting to be understood, investors expected a certain level of disruption in the IPO markets. Few (if any) expected that disruption to lead to a banner year.
IPO markets didn’t just return to “normal” in June; they kicked off a bull run that would break historic records. Deal counts and proceeds hit six-year highs in 2020; median deal size exploded to $179 million—another record; first-day, aftermarket, and total returns reached their highest levels in two decades; and a record-breaking 20 IPOs raised more than $1 billion in proceeds.
In total, there were 218 IPOs executed in the U.S. in 2020, raising $78.2 billion in proceeds. Investor appetite was almost insatiable. Led by a set of $3 billion-plus listings by AirBnB, DoorDash, and Snowflake, investors piled into the top performers (AirBnB’s return from IPO was 116 percent; Snowflake’s was 135 percent). Facing heightened competition for good listings, investors also embraced Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs), which together raised another $75.5 billion.
Read our 2020 U.S. year-end report to explore:
- IPO activity, returns by sector, and investor focus on healthcare and technology
- venture capital and private equity activity and proceeds
- future trends including the maturation of SPAC, the growing Healthtech universe, long-term impacts of COVID-19, and a 2021 outlook.
About the IPO Insights Report Series
The IPO Insights report series delivers the latest information and analysis on quarterly IPO activity and performance to help business leaders take their companies to the next level.