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30 Startups We Think Could Go Public In 2022

This year has been a blockbuster for the IPO markets. At the same time, it’s been a record year for venture funding into still-private startups.

We think that sets 2022 up to be another robust year for stock market debuts as many of these well-capitalized startups head for the exits. With that in mind, here are the Crunchbase News staff’s top picks for who we think could go public next year.

Enterprise tech and cybersecurity

Cybereason: Boston-based cybersecurity company Cybereason has a couple big things going for it that indicate next year could be the year. First, it plays in the extended detection and response (XDR) space—which has become quite popular this year as companies scramble to secure endpoints and the network as employees working from home have expanded the attack surface. Secondly, the company significantly increased its war chest this summer when it raised $275 million in a financing led by Liberty Strategic Capital—the fund started by former U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin—at a reported $3.1 billion.

Databricks: While Databricks CEO Ali Ghodsi has reportedly said the company is “going public six months at a time,” it does seem logical that journey will end next year. San Francisco-based Databricks hit a post-money valuation of $38 billion after raising a $1.6 billion Series H led by Morgan Stanley’s Counterpoint Global in August—which came just seven months after the company raised $1 billion at a $28 billion valuation. There are few private companies valued higher. Databrikcs — which has raised a total of $3.6 billion—creates tools and products to help companies view both structured and unstructured data in a single location—what it calls a data “lakehouse”—without moving between different systems. With deep technology and the fact the company is geared toward a growing developers market, an IPO next year seems like a real possibility.

Everlaw: In November, Oakland, California-based Everlaw closed a $202 million Series D led by TPG at a valuation of more than $2 billion. While that may not turn many heads during these salad days in the VC market, Everlaw is a legaltech company—a sector that is seeing heightened interest as the cloud and COVID-19 have caused more legal processes and documents to go virtual and adoption of technology to skyrocket. The still nascent space even saw an IPO this year, with Austin, Texas-based Disco going public on the New York Stock Exchange in July. Maybe 2022 will hold another one?

Rippling: You may have read HR-tech is having a moment right now with venture capital and private investors. The timing seems right for one of these companies to take advantage of the momentum and go public next year. To be honest, there are a handful of HR-tech companies I could have chosen, but I went with San Francisco-based payroll and benefits platform Rippling since it’s slightly older than some—founded in 2016—and hit a pretty significant valuation of $6.5 billion after its $250 million Series C in October.

Tanium: The Kirkland, Washington-based endpoint management platform has been around for a while—it was founded in 2007—but often seems to pop up on lists, likely because it has big numbers. The company had a quieter end to this year than it did last—when it raised $150 million at a $9 billion valuation, hired a new CEO and moved its headquarters from the Bay Area to the great Northwest. In January, the company did raise a fresh $150 million at an undisclosed valuation from the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board. In 2019, the company said revenue had grown more than 50 percent, now exceeding $430 million. That combined with the fact that it has raised more than $1 billion from investors makes it an IPO candidate seemingly every year.

Talkdesk: While many might think the cloud-based contact center company’s biggest move was becoming a decacorn this year after a $230 million Series D raise, the San Francisco-based company makes this list for a different reason. Along with the new cash, the company also named industry veteran Sydney Carey as its first chief financial officer. Carey joins Talkdesk from Sumo Logic, where she led the organization through an initial public offering. With San Francisco-based call center software developer Genesys recently closing a $580 million round at a $21 billion valuation, maybe it’s time someone goes public?

— Chris Metinko

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Fintech and banking

Stripe: This was an especially big year for fintech public debuts, with big IPOs from cryptocurrency platform Coinbase, Latin American banking app Nubank, online trading platform Robinhood, card issuing company Marqeta, buy now, pay later platform Affirm and remittance company Wise. Despite all the IPO activity for fintechs in 2021, some of the largest fintech companies are still private. That includes San-Francisco-based Stripe —probably the most anticipated fintech listing for 2022.

The company was co-founded by CEO Patrick Collison and President John Collison. Stripe was last valued at $95 billion in a Series H funding in March 2021 from a host of leading investors, and the fourth-highest valued company on The Crunchbase Unicorn Board. It is said to be in discussions with bankers and has beefed up its management team in the past 18 months. Stripe processes hundreds of billions of dollars in online payments each year. (I take a closer look at Stripe’s business here.)

Klarna: Sweden-based buy now, pay later (BNPL) startup Klarna is the next most highly anticipated fintech IPO going into 2022. Klarna was founded in 2005, and is led by co-founder and CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski. The company was last valued in June 2021 at $45.5 billion in a round led by the SoftBank Vision Fund. U.S. competitor Affirm went public at a valuation of $11.9 billion in January 2021, and is trading up more than threefold from its IPO price as of December 8, 2021. Klarna boasts 90 million active customers across 250,000 merchants in 17 countries. It recently partnered with Stripe to offer BNPL to a wider set of companies.

Revolut: London-based digital bank Revolut, co-founded in 2015 by CEO Nikolay Storonsky and CTO Vlad Yatsenko, is highly likely to go public in 2022—probably in a London listing. The company is said to have around 15 million customers. Revolut was last valued at $33 billion in a Series E funding round led by the SoftBank Vision Fund and Tiger Global Management. Revolut’s promise is to allow its users to hold money in one bank account in different currencies using interbank rates—very useful for a global workforce accustomed to traveling.

Chime: San Francisco-based digital bank Chime, with 14 million customers, was founded in 2013 by CEO Chris Britt and CTO Ryan King. It last raised a $750 million funding in August 2021 led by Sequoia Capital Global Equities, a clear signal of its intent to go public. The funding valued the company north of $25 billion. Other participants include the SoftBank Vision Fund, and prior investors Tiger Global Management, General Atlantic and Dragoneer Investment Group.

Plaid: San Francisco-based Plaid, a service that connects your bank account to online services, is another likely IPO candidate in 2022. The company was co-founded in 2013 by William Hockey and CEO Zachary Perret. Plaid powers 5,000 fintech companies connecting users’ bank accounts to fintech services. Visa announced its intention to acquire Plaid at a price of $5.3 billion in January 2020. Due to a Department of Justice lawsuit, Visa ended its commitment a year later, making an IPO exit more likely for the company. Plaid has since raised funding in April 2021 at a much larger valuation of $13.5 billion led by Altimeter Capital.

— Gené Teare

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Consumer platforms and services

ServiceTitan: Several companies offering scalable platforms that connect consumers and service providers look ripe for IPO action in 2022. That includes Glendale, California-based ServiceTitan, which operates a software platform that home services contractors use to market, book, manage and collect payment for work, with a focus on specialties like HVAC, plumbing and electrical. Founded in 2012, the company has raised $1.1 billion in funding to date, including $700 million in new investment in 2021. The company looks poised to be a formidable 2022 IPO candidate, particularly given the persistent strength of the home services sector.

Honor: This startup, the operator of what it calls the world’s largest senior care network and technology platform, is certainly scaling up amidst a time of heightened demand. In the U.S. and other developed economies, an aging population and shortage of skilled care providers has bolstered uptake for services that match caregivers with seniors in need. Funding has been rather plentiful as well, with 7-year-old Honor raising total equity funding to date of $325 million at a recent valuation of more than $1.25 billion. The San Francisco-headquartered company also this year acquired another major player in the home care space, senior services provider Home Instead.

Guild Education: Denver-based Guild Education connects employers to a marketplace of schools and learning providers with the aim of broadening skills for working adults. Founded in 2015, the company has raised $378.5 million in known funding to date, including a $150 Series E round in June. The company signaled it at least had an IPO on its mind in October, when it announced the hire of a new CFO with a track record at pre-IPO and public companies.

MasterClass: Generally, a consumer-facing company doesn’t raise $461 million in venture funding with a plan to simply stay private indefinitely. So, it wouldn’t be a big surprise to see San Francisco-headquartered MasterClass dipping a toe in the public markets in coming months. The online education platform offers courses on a broad array of topics and features well-known figures including Malala Yousafzai, Spike Lee, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Ringo Starr. It reportedly had a valuation around $2.75 billion in May, more than tripling in value in the course of a year.

Instacart: San Francisco-based Instacart has been a much-speculated-upon IPO candidate for years, and it’s easy to imagine 2022 as the year it finally delivers on a market debut. The grocery delivery decacorn has raised a staggering $2.9 billion in venture and growth funding to date, per Crunchbase data. The nearly 10-year-old company was reportedly contemplating an offering in Q4 of 2020, but opted to push it off a few months or more.

— Joanna Glasner

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Proptech and e-commerce

Divvy Homes: Last year was big for proptech, with venture-backed companies in the real estate space raising nearly $21 billion. It was also a busy year for residential real estate sales, thanks to low interest rates and many people still working from home. That gave way to more startups in the homebuying space raising money, including Divvy Homes. Of the many startups in the homebuying and home financing space, Divvy Homes is one of the best capitalized with around $1.2 billion in funding. So within the real estate tech space, it’s my choice for a company that could go public in 2022. Here’s the catch though: I think it’s more likely to go public through a SPAC than a traditional IPO. Granted, I haven’t seen Divvy Homes’ financials, but its business model—the company buys a home upfront and then operates a rent-to-own model—is capital intensive. I think that means it’s probably better suited for a SPAC—where it can go public and raise money faster—than a traditional IPO.

Glossier: 2021 was a banner year for consumer company IPOs, including several in the beauty categories. Olaplex, MILK Makeup, Rent the Runway, Poshmark and Allbirds all made public market debuts. If public investors’ interest in consumer brands continues into 2022, there could be more consumer companies going public next year. Glossier is one of my picks for a potential 2022 IPO for a few reasons. It’s probably one of the most-recognized, if not the most-recognized, venture-backed beauty brand right now. With more than $266 million in funding and most recently a $2.5 billion valuation, the company is well-positioned to make the transition into a public company. And it’s growing fast, expanding into makeup and fragrances within the past couple of years and establishing both a large online presence and physical stores around the world. If investor sentiment regarding consumer companies continues into 2022, I could see Glossier taking advantage of the market conditions and going public.

Lower: Lower, a full-stack lender and platform for buying, selling and insuring homes, raised a $100 million Series A earlier this year after operating for seven years as a bootstrapped company. At the time of the Series A raise, Lower was also profitable. The company seems large and established enough to go public, and could tap into the public markets to fuel growth. If it went public next year, it would join other homebuying or mortgage platforms to go public recently, including Better.com and Blend.

Thrasio: Thrasio’s a young company, but it could be a contender to go public in 2022. The company, which acquires private-label Amazon FBA businesses and direct-to-consumer brands, is well-capitalized, but its business also relies on having lots of capital to keep acquiring brands. The company has  grown fast since its seed round in 2019, raising around $3.4 billion in venture funding and debt including a $1 billion Series D in October. I could see Thrasio going public either through a SPAC or IPO to raise more money to keep growing its business.

TripActions: TripActions is my pick for a travel startup that could go public in 2022. The travel sector took a hit in 2020, but with travel picking back up in 2021 and 2022, TripActions is poised for growth. TripActions is also something of a hybrid between a travel company and a fintech company—and fintech’s never been more in demand, especially for other enterprises. The company has raised $1.5 billion in funding, most recently with a $275 million Series F in October that gave it a nearly $7.3 billion valuation. With corporate travel and spending rebounding, TripActions easily has a strong narrative to pitch to investors for an IPO.

— Sophia Kunthara

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Life sciences, agtech and foodtech

Farmers Business Network: San Carlos, California-based Farmers Business Network makes a platform that allows farmers to get up-to-date data on everything from seed selection to operations in an effort to help them minimize risk and maximize profits while growing the nation’s food. The startup raised $300 million in funding last month at a $4 billion valuation. CEO Amol Deshpande then teased that the startup could go public as early as next year, telling Bloomberg: “We’re certainly of a scale where we can IPO, without a shadow of a doubt.”

Impossible Foods: Redwood City, California-based Impossible Foods unveiled its meatless burger that “bleeds” in 2016 following its 2011 founding and the sky has been the limit from there. The company has since raised more than $2 billion in venture capital and its product has become a common substitute for beef in restaurant burgers across the country, even partnering with fast-food chain Burger King to create a meatless version of its signature offering, the Whopper. Just as onlookers wondered what was next for the startup, founder and CEO Pat Brown said last month his intent is to go public sooner rather than later—he just hasn’t set a date yet.

Verily Life Sciences: Verily, which started as a division of Google X, may have struck out as a somewhat more independent Alphabet subsidiary in 2015, but it really pushed its way into the public consciousness with the coronavirus pandemic. The San Francisco-based startup became California’s go-to option in testing for COVID-19 at a time when traditional health care was struggling under the weight of the newly discovered and fast-spreading virus. Although the company’s services were touted by California Gov. Gavin Newsom as a “national model” in 2020, by February 2021 the state had ended its contracts with the company. Even so, Verily’s momentum seems to have continued. Insider reported in September that the company was implementing a plan, which it called Flywheel internally, to move its products from Google’s internal computing framework to other publicly available services. That move may be an indication that company leaders are preparing for an IPO in the near future.

— Janice Bitters Turi

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A grab bag of other IPO candidates

Flexport: The logistics space has been flooded with investor interest this year amid worldwide supply chain woes. One of the biggest startups in the space, freight forwarder Flexport has raised $1.3 billion from investors including the SoftBank Vision Fund and Founders Fund and was most recently valued at $3.2 billion, per Crunchbase data. CEO Ryan Petersen has also been a frequent face on broadcast media this year, offering commentary on the state of global trade. The company, founded in 2013, is on pace to more than double its revenue this year to $3.2 billion, according to Inc. Given the cash demands of running a fast-growing business in the international logistics space, the company may find the public markets an attractive option sooner rather than later.

HoneyBook: HoneyBook this year raised not one, but two large funding rounds. Its latest, a $250 million Series E in November, doubled the company’s valuation to $2.4 billion. San Francisco-based HoneyBook’s software platform helps independent contractors and small businesses manage clients, cash flow, invoicing, proposals and the like—an area that’s apparently experienced tremendous growth over the past year-plus as more workers ditch the 9-to-5 to launch their own ventures. While HoneyBook may not need to tap the public markets for cash, given its fundraising blitz this year, I think the company could well see the Great Resignation as the perfect opportunity to ride a wave of entrepreneurship straight to Wall Street.

Houzz: Another market that rallied during the pandemic? Homebuying. And that was good news for home remodeling platform Houzz. As many people remodel homes—either to sell the properties or to better accommodate new work-from-home arrangements—CEO Adi Tatarko has hinted that the business rebounded significantly since the early days of the pandemic, when Houzz laid off 10 percent of its staff. In April 2020, the Palo Alto, California-based company launched a Houzz Pro subscription offering for home construction and design professionals to manage clients. The company hired Goldman Sachs to prepare it for an early 2022 IPO, Reuters reported in October. Still, there are a few things that could dampen its prospects in the new year: The housing market has mostly settled down again and rising inflation has made remodeling more expensive. Houzz was most recently valued at $4.3 billion in 2017, when it raised its Series E.

Patreon: Patreon reportedly mulled a 2021 IPO, but instead raised a $155 million Series F round this year that valued it at $4.3 billion. Next year could still be a good year for Patreon to make a run at the public markets, however, as the creator economy shows no signs of slowing down. The San Francisco-based platform connects content creators such as musicians, podcasters and bloggers with fans, and offers tools for those creators to monetize their content. It was an early leader in the creator economy space, which has ballooned to an estimated $20 billion worldwide market as the pandemic forced more online content consumption from people stuck at home.

Quora: When will Quora go public? The popular question-and-answer website is preparing for a 2022 IPO that could value it at around $4 billion, or double its most recent private valuation, Reuters reported last month, citing sources familiar with the matter. Quora, founded in 2009 by former Facebook (now Meta) executives Adam D’Angelo and Charlie Cheever, has struggled over the years to generate revenue beyond advertising. But this year, amid a pandemic-fueled boom for the creator economy, the company announced launching new subscription products that allow its content creators to monetize their answers on the site.

Relativity Space: This was a big year for space tech. Companies like Elon Musk’s  SpaceX and  Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin made big headlines, while others raised gobs of cash. However, we also saw a handful of space companies go public—mainly via SPACs. So why not another one next year? We’ll pick Long Beach, California-based Relativity Space, an aerospace company that designs, develops and builds 3D printed rockets. The six-year-old company raised a $650 million Series E earlier this year, but developing deep tech for space is not cheap. Maybe its next fundraising will be in the public market with all the increasing interest SPACs have shown?

 

— Marlize van Romburgh and Chris Metinko

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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