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Upcoming IPOs to watch in 2024

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IPOs

Unicorns

December 21, 2023

Can we expect more in 2024?

Despite a brief moment of euphoria mid-year, the 2023 IPO market did not live up to expectations. Investors watched with anticipation in Q3 as the bell rang on some big-name public market tech debutants: Arm, Klaviyo and, Instacart among them. A couple of these names showed early promise; both Instacart and Arm traded 10% over their initial prices. But aftermarket performance was disappointing, and hopes of a prolonged IPO market recovery were soon quashed.

Recap of 2023 tech IPO performances:

Tech darlings Arm Holdings [ARM], Klaviyo [KVYO], and Instacart [CART] all went public in quick succession in the fall of 2023. 

Arm Holdings IPO [ARM]

The U.K.-based semiconductor design company’s IPO was the largest since 2021. After a successful first day, rising nearly 25% above its issue price of $51, the stock traded sideways for most of October. It has since rebounded to the low $60s in November, possibly the beneficiary of AI sector tailwinds. 

Klaviyo IPO [KVYO]

In mid-September, the email marketing startup debuted at $30 and has traded flat since then. The company's public market struggles mirror those of Arm— after reaching 20% above the offer price a week into trading, Klaviyo has since moved back below $30/share. Klaviyo's performance is typical of other SaaS companies who previously made the leap, with already-public competitors like HubSpot also remaining flat since September.

Instacart IPO [CART]

Instacart, a grocery delivery platform, faced a rocky road before its IPO. After achieving a $39.1 billion price tag in their March 2021 Series I, secondary market trading saw Instacart valued below $10 billion in mid-2023. Debuting a day before Klaviyo at $30/share, shares fell to the mid-$20s after only a few weeks of trading.

Caught between a down round and a hard place 

While many pre-IPO companies have pushed back their plans following the disappointing debuts of the class of 2023, the undeniable reality is that the bulk of them cannot put off a capital raise for much longer. 

Many prominent unicorns have not raised capital in several years, and only a small handful have the cash reserves to go the distance without a capital injection in the immediate future. Furthermore, most have shareholders clamouring for liquidity after waiting all these years for an exit. While the rich supply of capital in the private markets in the past decade enabled mature startups to almost indefinitely postpone IPOs and other types of liquidity event, the walls appear to be caving in as late-stage venture capital begins to dry up and investors are increasingly triaging across their portfolios.

Unicorns fortunate enough to be IPO candidates will face increasing pressure to turn to the public markets. The alternative would be to face down rounds, or no liquidity at all, in the private market.

Tech IPOs to watch in 2024

There’s no way to predict the arrival of next wave of IPOs in 2024, but several large private companies are signalling their willingness to lead the charge.

Here is our list of the most anticipated tech IPOs in 2024. We select these based on general secondary market sentiment and a combination of other factors including size, age, date of last funding round, and news signals. We use secondary market data from the Hiive trading platform to estimate an indicative pricing range for the possible IPO. 


Reddit IPO

Year founded: 2005

Date of last funding round: 2022

Last funding round raised: $410 million

Hiive recent secondary market valuation: ~$4.36 billion

As one of the oldest startups in this list, the social media company’s public offering is one of the most highly anticipated. After raising more than $400 million in a round led by Fidelity back in August 2022, Reddit may finally be ready to take the plunge. The internet culture icon at the centre of the 2021 Gamestop Short Squeeze is in discussions with Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. Over the past 18 years, Reddit has amassed a sizeable online community of 55 million daily active users, with estimated sales of $670 million in 2022. Despite being a long way from profitability, the company demonstrated its commitment to adopting the posture of a rationally run enterprise ready for public investors: in 2023, Reddit imposed fees on its API for the first time, defying resistance and boycotts from segments of its user base. 

Valuation

Reddit’s stock has shed a significant value since the frenzy of 2021 when it raised a Series F round at a $10 billion valuation. More recently, the lead investor of the round, Fidelity, drastically cut its appraisal of the social media platform’s value. Its Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX) has repeatedly reassessed the value of its Reddit holdings, devaluing the company by more than 40% since 2021. The fund’s most recent report of its portfolio holdings indicates a valuation in the range of $5.5 billion. Meanwhile in the secondary market, the most recent trades of Reddit shares on Hiive value the company in the range of $4.36 billion ($27/share), below Fidelity’s most recent markdown.


Rubrik IPO

Year founded: 2014

Date of last funding round: 2021

Last funding round raised: $410 million

Hiive recent secondary market valuation: $4.8 billion - $5.2 billion

The data security management platform revived plans for an IPO for the first quarter of 2024 after staying on the sidelines in 2023 following a muted reception from the markets. Rubrik has raised more than $1 billion over its lifetime, notably receiving an investment from Microsoft at a reported valuation of $4 billion in 2021. The Information last reported that the company hit an impressive revenue milestone of $650 million in ARR in the six months that ended in July 2023. However, it’s not all smooth sailing as Rubrik was also affected by the headwinds of 2023 with lower-than-expected revenue growth (just 8% year-over-year as of July 2023 representing a slow down of 18%). 

Valuation

At its last reported valuation of $4 billion, Rubrik is one of the most valuable software companies in the world. The startup is also one of the top pre-IPO companies in the secondary markets, being one of the few names that have resisted deep discounts. In fact, shares of the company have traded at a premium to the company’s last reported valuation, and continue to trend upwards in the latter half of 2023. Most recent transactions on Hiive point to a valuation in the range of $4.8 billion and $5.2 billion, with buy-side orders valuing the company as much as $6.2 billion. All of these are positive signs that the company will surpass its last primary funding valuation should it decide to IPO in 2024. 


Stripe IPO

Year founded: 2010

Date of last funding round: 2023

Last funding round raised: $6.5 billion 

Hiive recent secondary market valuation: ~$57 billion 

One of the most sought after names by private market investors in the past few years, a Stripe IPO would undoubtedly be a blockbuster event in 2024. The fintech company last raised a Series I round in 2023 to “provide liquidity to current and former employees and address employee withholding tax obligations related to equity awards”. While it is one of the most eligible companies to make a public debut in 2024, the paradox is that Stripe is unlikely to make the first move— most recent signs are that it is not under pressure to raise capital (in a press release in March 2023, the company stated that it did not require the capital from its most recent raise to run the business). All this suggests that a Stripe public offering early in 2024 is unlikely, and may only occur when market conditions improve as the year progresses. 

Valuation

Once valued at a high of $95 billion in 2021, the company has since accepted a series of painful cuts to its valuation. Stripe’s recent series I round valued the company at $50 billion, roughly 52% (a corresponding 49% discount) of what it was valued at its peak. In spite of this, the most recent bids for Stripe shares on Hiive value the company in the range of $57 billion, up from its last raise, signalling that private market investors remain optimistic about the company. 


Klarna IPO 

Year founded: 2005

Date of last funding round: 2022

Last funding round raised: $6.7 billion

Hiive recent secondary market valuation: ~$8.37 billion

Klarna was last reported to be positioning itself for an eventual IPO in November 2023. Techcrunch reported that the company was “inching towards” an eventual IPO, beginning with the establishment of a holding company based in the UK. 

This follows the startup's stunning financial reversal in 2023, going from losses of over $1 billion in 2022, to generating $12 million in pre-tax profit by Q3.

Notably, Klarna is one of the small handful of pre-IPO unicorns that are in the black. At a time when investors continue to favour companies with strong fundamentals and a path to profitability, this could render it more palatable than many of its peers. 

Valuation

Like many fintech unicorns, Klarna was hard hit by a shift in investor sentiment following the end of an era of cheap money. The company took a significant beating in 2022, raising at a 85% discount (~$6.7 billion valuation) to its 2021 high. If secondary trading activity is anything to go by, investors remain optimistic about the company— recent trades on Hiive occurred at a $8.37 billion valuation ($250/share), 25% above its last primary funding round in 2022. While private market investors remain optimistic about the company, a crucial determinant of the company’s IPO outcome will be whether public investors perceive the company as a technology-driven lender or a bank. As Reuters lays out in this piece, the way that public investors eventually swing will have a material effect on the fortunes of Klarna’s shareholders. 


Databricks IPO

Year founded: 2013

Date of last funding round: 2023

Last funding round raised: $500 million

Hiive recent secondary market valuation: >$39 billion

Databricks is one of the most exciting pre-IPO companies that could make a highly anticipated public debut in 2024. The data architecture and AI company is shaping up to become a behemoth in the Big Data sector, buoyed by the “AI land grab”. Databricks has defied macroeconomic headwinds that have affected much of the tech sector, reportedly crossing a record $1.5 billion revenue run, closing a $500 million round (13% up from its previous round in 2021), and leading the notable acquisitions of unicorn MosaicML and Arcion in 2023. 

While Databricks may not be a prime candidate for an early 2024 IPO given CEO Ali Ghodsi’s own admission that the company won’t be “first movers” in this regard, a more bullish public market at the tail end of 2024 could entice the Big Data unicorn to seriously consider a public debut. 

Valuation

The company’s incredible traction in the past two years and potential given the secular AI trends makes it one of the most resilient unicorns in the private market. Where most startups have shed 60-70% of their valuations since 2021, Databricks is one of the few tech unicorns that has avoided a down round, raising at a $43 billion valuation in 2023, above its $38 billion valuation in 2021. The secondary market has also seen high demand for Databricks shares and the indirect market for the stock was the most active on Hiive for several consecutive months in 2023. Though indirect transactions typically involve a greater discount due to counterparty risk, most recent trades on Hiive value the company close to last round figures (~10% discount), pointing to the strong possibility of a Databricks IPO at a price beyond $43 billion. 


Turo IPO

Year founded: 2009

Date of last funding round: 2022

Last funding round raised: $500 million 

Hiive recent secondary market valuation: ~$2.6 billion

Turo has been testing the waters to line up an IPO as far back as 2021 and the company’s ambitions to go public has not waned since. Ever since filing an S1 in 2022, the car sharing marketplace has updated it routinely, last doing so in November 2023. Should market conditions improve in 2024, it would not be a stretch to assume that Turo would once again consider knocking on the door of the public markets. 

Notably, Turo is one of the handful of profitable pre-IPO tech unicorns on this list, having moved into the black for the first time in 2022. From the most recently updated S-1 in November 2023, it looks likely that it will end 2023 as a profitable company as well. That said, the car sharing startup will be aware that it won’t be a simple stroll to its public debut. The same filing highlights slowing revenue growth which may turn investors away despite Turo’s profitability.

Valuation

Turo is one of the few companies on the list that last raised a round in the pre-pandemic era of 2020. The $500 million round valued the startup in the range of $1.3 billion. After three years, most recent secondary trading activity on Hiive prices Turo in the range of $2.6 billion, roughly twice what it was worth before. Without a recent primary funding round to go by in the past two years, the indicative valuation associated with trades in the secondary market provides the best indication of the likely floor associated with a potential Turo public offering. 


SpaceX IPO

Year founded: 2002

Date of last funding round: 2022

Last funding round raised: $1.73 billion 

Hiive recent secondary market valuation: ~$175 billion

SpaceX is supposedly one of the most valuable aerospace and defence companies in the world at the moment, dwarfing even the likes of Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and GE in terms of market capitalization. The Elon Musk-led company continues to boast one of the best operational track records in the category; according to a report by the Economist in 2023, “SpaceX flies more rockets, and carries more satellites, than every other spacefaring entity combined.” In the years following its first successful rocket launch in 2008, the company has built an unrivalled lead and possesses near-total dominance of the U.S. satellite launch market today. The combination of its larger than life CEO, its incredible operational success, and the (quite literally) galactic scale of the market it occupies, promises a blockbuster IPO if and when it happens. 

Meanwhile, there have been reports that the company is lining up a public offering of its satellite business, Starlink, in late 2024. According to Bloomberg, the company has been laying the foundations for a Starlink IPO: “SpaceX has begun moving Starlink’s assets to a wholly owned subsidiary that would ultimately be spun off in the IPO”. According to a separate article by the same source, SpaceX projects $9 billion in satellite sales originating from Starlink in 2023, and is expected to quickly outpace the launch business. All this suggests that an IPO of the satellite business alone is likely to generate a sizable splash. While the mercurial Musk has also dismissed these rumours, a hot IPO market is likely to prompt a double take from the business mogul. 

Valuation

As of December 2023, reports have been that the company has initiated a tender offer valuing the company in the range of $175 billion, associated with a per share price of $95. At this valuation, SpaceX outsizes the largest historical IPO, surpassing Alibaba’s public debut at $169 billion. The secondary market suggests that there is appetite even beyond that jaw-dropping valuation, with the most recent transaction on Hiive pricing the company slightly over $175 billion at $97/share. Furthermore, whereas most names in the secondary market are buyer constrained at the moment, the reverse is true for SpaceX as bids on the platform presently out-number listings by more than 3-1. Based on investor demand in the secondary market, there is little doubt that the company’s public debut will carry significant steam behind it. 


Discord IPO

Year founded: 2015

Date of last funding round: 2021

Last funding round raised: $500 million 

Hiive recent secondary market valuation: ~$6.2 billion

The social media platform turned down an acquisition offer from Microsoft in 2021 with reports at the time claiming that it had its eyes set on a potential public offering. It would soon become clear that Discord had missed the IPO window as interest rates soon started to hike in 2022 and markets began to tumble in response. Retrospectively, the company will regret not pulling the trigger in 2021 as the private market has not been kind to its valuation. In 2023, Fidelity marked down the value of its Discord holdings in a series of cuts, with the most recent markdown of the social media giant pegging the company at a 47% discount to its last valuation of $14.7 billion.

Regardless, Discord remains one of the most sought after tech unicorns in the global secondary markets given its sizeable number of users and revenue figures. According to Contrary Research, the social media platform has amassed a sizable user base of roughly 560 million registered users as of January 2023. Based on the same source, the company’s revenue has also been steadily growing in the past few years, increasing from $115 million in 2022, to $428 million in 2022. 

Valuation

Discord last raised $500 million in 2021 as part of a Series I round. At that time, the company was valued in the range of $14.7 billion. Alongside significant markdowns by existing investors, Discord shares are also deeply discounted in the secondary market. Based on most recent trading activity on Hiive, private market investors are valuing the company in the range of $6.27 billion, less than half of what it was worth in 2021. While Discord may not be the top candidate for an early 2024 IPO, the company remains one of the largest private social media unicorns in the world even at its reduced valuation, and could very well be compelled to make a debut should the markets reverse later in the year. 


ByteDance IPO

Year founded: 2012

Date of last funding round: 2021

Last funding round raised: $5 billion 

Hiive recent secondary market valuation: ~$268 billion

TikTok parent company ByteDance would be one of the largest IPOs of all time if an eventual public offering does take place. The Beijing-headquartered social media giant sees billions of monthly active users and reportedly has revenues greater than competitor Tencent. 

However, a potential IPO faces a couple of significant headwinds. Firstly, the Chinese government has been increasing their scrutiny of tech conglomerates based in the country, with fintech firm Ant Group facing a fine of nearly $1 billion that curtailed their own IPO plans. As if scrutiny from the Chinese government wasn’t enough, ByteDance, and particularly TikTok, has weathered criticism from American regulators over security concerns and censorship. At least 34 US states have banned TikTok from government devices, and US president Joe Biden has demanded that ByteDance divest from the popular app.

Valuation

ByteDance last raised $5 billion in February 2021 during a round that valued the behemoth at a reported $360 billion. As part of the general tech market slowdown, recent secondary market indications have seen the company valued in the $200 billion range. A more salient valuation may be the $268 billion number at which the company has initiated a recent share buyback to provide shareholders with interim liquidity.

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