While COVID-19 has hurt the global economy, there is a silver lining. Many tech companies have gotten a boost to their IPOs, raising 150 billion dollars in 2020. But companies like Roblox and Affirm delayed their IPOs planned for December 2020 not because the market was too weak but because it was too strong. They’re banking on that strength to continue with the pandemic into 2021.
When the pandemic started in 2020, it was an uncertain time for many companies planning to go public, and it still is. But other companies saw opportunities in the proverbial darkness, like DoorDash. The company offers food delivery services for many restaurants that don’t provide it themselves, and with more people staying at home, there’s more reason to pay extra for delivery. The company Peloton, which sells home exercise equipment, also saw a boost as more people elected to work out at home instead of the gym, and lending company Affirm got a boost as well. Roblox is a video game company that markets primarily to kids who got to miss school and stay at home more to play.
On the other side of the coin, Airbnb had to delay their IPO and lay off staff as their network of lodgings relies on travel that is only now starting to come back. So not every tech-based company has benefitted from the pandemic.
Other companies that are supposed to go public soon and may benefit from the red hot IPO market, which is at the biggest it’s been since the dot-com boom of the late 1990s, are: Instacart, a grocery delivery service; Poshmark, which allows users to buy and sell clothes from each other online; Robinhood, which offers commission-free stock trades; and UiPath, a robotics company. According to Bloomberg News, popular dating app Bumble has also filed IPO paperwork.
So while the COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly brought its share of tragedies, both in the personal and business worlds, it’s not all bad. Some companies have thrived in the uncertainty and will hopefully continue to do well when the pandemic ends, and the world gets back to normal.