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11 IPOs To Look Out For In 2016

When people look back on 2015, they may call it the Year of the Sheep or the Year of the Sharing Economy. One thing they definitely won't call it is the the Year of the IPO.
In fact, only 28 companies went public in 2015—a big drop from the 62 IPOs a year prior. But 2016 will be a whole new year with some big potential public offerings cooking. Let's take a look at some potentially headline-making IPOs of the year ahead. 

1. SpaceX

Elon Musk's aerospace launch services provider is at the forefront of low-cost commercial aerospace services. It has contracts with NASA to transport cargo, and eventually astronauts, to the ISS. The company has a $12B valuation, but since it uses public market funding so much, an IPO may be the last thing on its mind. We'll keep an eye out just in case.

2. AppNexus

According to November rumors, this adtech company headed up by CEO Brian O'Kelley (pictured), has been in talks with banks about an IPO. The company raised $288M at a $1.5B valuation during a recent Series F funding round. It closed 2014 with more than $250M in yearly revenue, and earned a $1.7B valuation. AppNexus has more than 900 employees in 23 offices and controls about 30% of the adtech industry. Its founders have been hesitant about going public in the past but could change their tune.

3. Airbnb

This San Francisco-based homesharing giant has over 1.5 million listings in 34,000 cities in 190 countries worldwide. It's projected to generate $850M in revenue this year and forecasts $3B in earnings by 2020. In its latest round, Airbnb raised $1.5B at a $25.5B valuation. The company has yet to be profitable, though. It's operating at a loss of about $150M this year.

4. Snapchat

CEO Evan Spiegel started this popular social media app with Reggie Brown and Bobby Murphy as a class project at Stanford University. It officially launched in 2012 and has raised $1.2B in eight rounds of funding so far. The company is valued at $16B, and earlier this year announced that it's seeking a new round of funding at a $19B valuation. Spiegel has publicly said that Snapchat needs an IPO, and it definitely looks like they're preparing to make the move, with high-profile hires like new Chief Strategy Officer Imran Khan of Credit Suisse, who led Alibaba's IPO in 2014. They also increased investor interest when they famously turned down $3B and $4B buyouts from Facebook and Alphabet in 2013.

5. Jawbone

This wearable fitness tracking company may be forced into the marketplace for a different reason than Dropbox or Cloudera. Its main competitor, Fitbit, is having great success since going public, which should make the startup more valuable. But in the face of layoffs, new debt, product issues and failure to raise money, things aren't looking too good.

6. Cloudera

Tom Reilly and Mike Olson's (pictured, from left) Apache Hadoop-based software company may be one of several (like Dropbox and Jawbone) that could be dragged into an IPO in 2016. These companies were priced perfectly based on projections of future growth, but when the actual numbers fall short, it hurts the valuation. So they're left with the option of either taking a down round or going public. In this case, competitor Hortonworks's lackluster debut may hurt Cloudera's $4.5B valuation. However, Hadoop technology companies don't have great luck with the market, so that's something to consider.

7. Houzz

This Palo Alto, CA-based online portal for home remodeling started out as a tool developed by a husband-and-wife team to help them with their own remodeling project. Today it has more than 35 million unique users and over 800,000 professionals per month. It was valued at $2.3B at its last funding round in June 2014, and has raised roughly $214M from investors. It announced a $165M funding round in October.

8. Dropbox

Founded by Drew Houston (pictured), this file storage company went from raising more than $1B at a $10B valuation, to not raising any new cash in 2015. It recently shuttered large acquisitions and projects like Mailbox and Carousel, and it's competitor Box went public at a lower valuation. Dropbox would need to bring in 10 times Box's revenue, which is unlikely. These factors could push it to pursue an IPO.

9. Uber

The ridesharing mega-giant is valued at $50B, the same as Facebook's valuation before going public. It has also announced plans to raise another $2B at a $62.5B valuation. In fact, Uber (pictured) could become the most valuable venture-backed startup in history. Bookings are expected to triple, from $2.91B to $10.84B in 2015, and then more than double to $26.12B in 2016. But that doesn't exactly mean they'll go public. Some argue that the company is doing so well, it can afford to hold off on an IPO.

10. Xiaomi

One of the most highly anticipated IPOs, this Beijing-based smartphone maker trails only Samsung and Apple in size, and is the largest smartphone vendor in China. It sold more than 60 million smartphones in 2014, exclusively online, and raised $1.1B in its latest round of funding at a $45B valuation in December 2014.

11. Pinterest

This popular social media platform was launched in 2010 and reportedly went from 50,000 unique monthly visitors to 17 million in just nine months. (Facebook took 16 and Twitter took 22.)

In 2013 CEO Ben Silberman (pictured) said that it isn't interested in going public because it wants to "stand on its own two feet." But things change, and today it's one of the most talked about candidates—not to mention the last popular social media app that hasn't gone public or been absorbed in a merger.

It has an $11B valuation after raising $367M in the latest round of funding in March. To date, it has over $1B in equity funding in total and is one of the most highly valued startups in the world. Pinterest expects to bring in $50M a year now that it's inked a deal with SkimLinks, which monetizes links to other sites on Pinterest. It will also be adding products like "Action Buttons," and it will be opening ad sales to all merchants, which could generate $500M in 2016.