After 2020, which was a pretty quiet year in terms of public listings by European tech companies, this year has all the chances to be one of the most active ones so far. Towards the end of last fall, we started picking up more and more official announcements and market rumours indicating a big wave of tech IPOs coming from Europe, and within the first month of 2021 we’ve even seen the first of them to happen (think Playtika, Mytheresa, and InPost, for example).
To take a snapshot of the market situation and some of the most important flotations to expect, here's an overview of the companies we're expecting to go public later this year. Not all of the public listings in question actually happen in Europe, and not all of them are expected to be IPOs per se: we've also picked up a few SPAC deal announcements.
(In case you’ve missed the whole madness, SPAC stands for a “special-purpose acquisition company,” meaning an entity created and floated on a stock exchange with the sole purpose of merging with another organisation, therefore taking it public while saving a lot of regulatory hurdles.)
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The next UK-based tech company to IPO is likely to be the online greeting cards retailer Moonpig. According to its statutory accounts for the year ending in April 2019, the company had made pre-tax profit of £18.4 million on revenues of almost £100 million. Recently, Moonpig confirmed its plans to float in London in February, targeting a valuation of “up to £1.2 billion.”
London-based food delivery giant Deliveroo has been long rumoured to be gearing up towards going public on the London Stock Exchange. Recently, the rumours were confirmed by the company’s founder and CEO Will Shu, as Deliveroo raised an extra $180 million in funding. According to different market sources, the company will aim at a valuation of anywhere from £5 billion to £10 billion.
Another UK-based technology company expected to float soon is Transferwise. Founded in Estonia in 2011, the fintech scale-up has recently hired Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to lead its IPO process. The final details are yet to be finalised, but the flotation is expected to take place in London, while the target valuation is likely to exceed significantly the latest known private one of $5 billion.
Following the theme of money transfer services going public, WorldRemit is also one. Back in November, the company appointed Spotify CFO Paul Vogel to its board of directors, which was widely understood as part of an IPO preparation process. Unlike its competitor Transferwise, WorldRemit is reportedly planning to float in the US and has been in conversation with Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase, among others. There’s no indication of how much WorldRemit may be worth, apart from an estimation from August putting the company’s valuation at “more than $1.5 billion” after it had acquired Sendwave.
British cyber security company Darktrace is also gearing up towards an IPO this year. As reported by Sky News — which seems to have scored most of the UK IPO scoops lately, — Darktrace has appointed UBS, Jefferies, and Berenberg to oversee its London stock market flotation. In what seems to be part of the preparations, Darktrace's chairman Robert Webb is going to step down soon, with the search for a successor well underway. The company is said to be aiming at a valuation of some $5 billion.
MusicMagpie, a “recommerce” website that buys used electronic devices, DVDs, games and books off customers to refurbish and resell them, is planning a London IPO. Sky News reported that the company appointed Peel Hunt and Shore Capital to lead the process.
Swedish payments company Trustly is likely to IPO in Stockholm in April or May, according to Reuters. Its owner, buyout group Nordic Capital, is said to be working with Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Carnegie in the preparation of the flotation. With a revenue of around €200 million in 2020, the company may be valued anywhere between €6 billion and €9 billion, said Reuters’ sources on the market.
Norway’s tech darling, the quiz-centred education platform Kahoot! is officially heading towards a pandemic-propelled IPO in Oslo by the end of March this year. Technically, Kahoot! is a public company already, listed on the Euronext Growth market in Oslo that’s there specifically for small and medium-sized companies. Now, however, with a 400 percent year-on-year growth, the firm is ready for the big leagues. Kahoot! is currently valued at about €5 billion and hopes to reach a wider audience of investors by transitioning to the main stock market.
Copenhagen-based online business review platform Trustpilot is reportedly preparing for a London IPO. Like many other prospective public companies in this overview, Trustpilot is said to be talking to multiple banks as part of the process. Ahead of going public, the company also reportedly seeks to combat the allegations that its review system can be fooled by malicious actors. To that end, the Danish firm has parted ways with three members of its leadership team and is supposedly “looking to hire a new operations chief with public-company experience.” The FT’s market sources put the target valuation of the supposed IPO at $1 billion.
Swedish mobile phone directory and caller ID service Truecaller is expected to go public this year — though very few details are available on this one. Earlier this month, the company confirmed the plans as it hired Odd Bolin, a very experienced financial professional, as its new CFO. “As Truecaller is preparing for an IPO, Odd will play a key role in the process,” said the company’s co-founder and CEO Alan Mamedi. It’s also reported that Truecaller would be seeking a valuation of around €1 billion.
Music licensing company Epidemic Sound that works with video creators is reportedly considering a sale or IPO at a valuation north of €1 billion. There haven’t been any further reports on this — but here’s a piece of deep analysis of whether the company could actually be worth as much money at all.
Danish corporate innovation matchmaking startup Valuer has recently announced an IPO on Nasdaq’s First North Premier Denmark at the end of February. The company targets a valuation of $65 million, hoping to bring in about $20 million in new funding.
What about Klarna, one may ask? The Swedish-born buy-now-pay-later player has certainly been in the IPO territory in terms of scale for a while — but the float doesn’t seem to be likely to happen this year. Back in August, Klarna’s founder and CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski told the FT that an IPO is likely to happen within the next “one or two years.” In a more recent interview with Yahoo Finance, however, he didn’t seem to be in any rush to float.
Used-car trading platform AUTO1 will float on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange as soon as February 4. The company has set a range of €32—€38 per share, meaning that it’s expecting to raise over €1.5 billion in its IPO. The target valuation of the firm is likely to exceed €7 billion.
Open source software company SUSE (SUSE Linux, anyone?) may go public reasonably soon, though no official confirmation has been given yet. The company’s owner, Swedish PE group EQT, was reported in November to be planning to float SUSE at a valuation of some €5 billion.
Mister Spex, a major online eyewear retailer, has been reported to be eyeing an IPO in Frankfurt this year. Bloomberg’s anonymous sources also said that the company has picked Berenberg and Jefferies to take it public as early as the first half of 2021.
Online fashion retailing unicorn About You is rumoured to be planning an IPO as early as March this year. A subsidiary of Otto Group, About You has reportedly hired Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to lead the effort. The venue and target valuation have not been disclosed (or leaked) yet.
And since we've mentioned Klarna, it'd be rude not make an honorary mention of N26. The neobank is not likely to go public this year, but is certainly preparing for an IPO. Recently, the company hired Jan Kemper, who took Zalando public in 2014, as its new CFO. “Jan’s track record in scaling companies from start-up through IPO will be invaluable as we set in motion our plans for the future,” said Maximilian Tayenthal, co-CEO and co-founder of N26.
One of the country’s tech giants, app monetisation company IronSource, has reportedly embarked on a journey towards a US IPO led by Goldman Sachs. The listing is supposed to happen in the first half of 2021, with a target valuation of between $7 billion and $8 billion. If this is to materialise, the IPO is likely to become the largest in Israeli history.
The social trading platform eToro has reportedly been talking with Goldman Sachs regarding its upcoming IPO in the second quarter of this year. The company is aiming at floating on Nasdaq with a target valuation of $5 billion — however, is also reported to be considering reversing into a SPAC in order to speed up the process.
Team management company Monday.com has also reached out to investment banks to go public in the first half of 2021. Same as eToro, Monday.com is after a public listing on Nasdaq at a valuation of “at least $3.5 billion to $4 billion,” according to Calcalist’s sources.
A New York IPO seems to be the default route for Israeli tech companies: the artificial vision firm OrCam is also reportedly planning to float there some time this year. The public listing will supposedly be led by Goldman Sachs, with a target valuation of $3 billion.
Content recommendation platform Outbrain, whose acquisition deal with a competitor, Taboola, fell through in September 2020, is also reportedly going public. Like the rest Israeli companies in this overview, Outbrain has set its sights on Wall Street, where it wants to float at a $2 billion valuation. It’s interesting to note that Taboola itself is now set to go public on the NYSE via SPAC.
Online market intelligence firm SimilarWeb is also among the long list of Israeli startups to supposedly IPO in the US this year. Founded in 2007, SimilarWeb has raised a total of $240 million and is looking for a $2 billion valuation on Nasdaq.
Next up is the AI-assisted retail analytics company Trax, which is reportedly planning a NYSE listing this year at a valuation of “at least $2 billion.” As part of the preparation process, the firm — which is technically headquartered in Singapore — has apparently planned a wave of layoffs in Israel.
Cellebrite, a digital intelligence company, is reportedly gearing up towards a Nasdaq IPO that’d value it at $2 billion, which seems to be a magic number in Israeli tech. The company is said to have hired JP Morgan to take it to the stock exchange, while also holding discussions with a few SPACs about a possible merger.
Israeli financial powerhouse Payoneer, like many of its peers, is planning to list on Nasdaq at a valuation between $2.5 billion and $3 billion. The company has reportedly engaged in negotiations with FTAC Olympus Acquisition.
For a change, there are also three Israeli companies that are planning to go public at home, namly on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange: cyber intelligence firm NSO Group (aiming to raise $2 billion), consumer lending startup Blender ($22 million), and IoT hardware manufacturer Compulab.
The rest of Europe
Dutch file-sharing platform WeTransfer has been aiming for a 2021 IPO since three years ago, and it seems like the plan is now coming together. According to a fresh Reuters report, the company has hired Bank of America-Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley to coordinate its Amsterdam listing to take place in April or May. The latest available data shows that WeTransfer’s sales hit €44.1 million in 2019, showing a more than twofold increase in two years.
Romanian-born UiPath — currently headquartered in the US, — has been expected to go public for a while. In December 2020, the company privately submitted a draft registration to the SEC — without, however, disclosing any details yet. The last thing we know about the company’s valuation is that it was set at $10.2 billion in a funding round in July.
Another interesting prospective listing is that of GitLab, a DevOps platform with Dutch and Ukrainian co-founders incorporated in the US. Showing a great deal of transparency, the company had said on its website’s wiki page that it planned to IPO in November 2020, together with listing a set of goals it wanted to achieve in order to go public. The goals are still there, while the dates were removed; CNBC’s sources said that the listing is most likely to happen this year. According to the same report, GitLab was valued at over $6 billion in a secondary share sale in November.
Madrid-based fund management services company Allfunds will list on Euronext Amsterdam, per a report in the Spanish newspaper Expansion quoted by Reuters. The listing is expected to take place in the second quarter, valuing the company between €6 billion and €7 billion.
Polish mobile game developer and publisher Huuuge Games is about to IPO on the Warsaw Stock Exchange to raise some $150 million through the sale of new shares (the target valuation doesn’t seem to have been disclosed). Unlike in September 2020, when the flotation plans were first announced, the latest announcement is much more concrete, so the listing is likely to happen before the end of March.
French cloud-computing provider OVH is targeting a Paris IPO some time this year, unnamed sources told Bloomberg in September. The 21-year-old company is also said to have mandated Rothschild & Co. as an adviser — however, no other details are available so far.
Image credits: lo lo; Anthony DELANOIX; Anders Jildén; Daniel Brosch; Daniel Lerman; Christian Lue
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