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From The Editor’s Desk: Snowflake Sets Stage for IPO Boom

From the Editor's Desk

Welcome to Week 2 of the 2020 IPO rush.

Last week, Snowflake set the momentum with its chart-topping IPO, which valued the data warehousing company at around $67 billion. JFrog, Sumo Logic, Unity Technologies and Amwell also went public, though didn’t have quite the staggering Wall Street debuts that Snowflake enjoyed as it became the largest-ever U.S. software IPO.

So far in 2020, 127 U.S. companies have gone public. Those companies have collectively raised $46.8 billion via their listings, according to Renaissance Capital, already surpassing 2019’s total. That’s a remarkable feat when you consider that the IPO market was practically stalled for most of this year.

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Companies are stampeding to the public markets for a few reasons. First, investors are hungry for yields, and with the Fed this week indicating that it expects to leave interest rates near zero through at least 2023, equity markets look relatively attractive. Second, the tech industry has proved to be far more recession-proof than sectors like manufacturing, travel or hospitality. And finally, the COVID-19 pandemic and remote-work shift have buoyed software companies like Snowflake, Unity and JFrog specifically. 

This week, at least three more companies are expected to list: telemedicine platform GoodRx; gaming hardware maker Corsair Gaming; and Bentley Systems, which makes software for the design and engineering industries. 

Palantir, meanwhile, has reportedly scheduled its listing for Sept. 29, a week later than previously thought. That means we’ll have to wait a week longer to see how Wall Street receives one of the oldest and most highly valued venture-backed private companies in the U.S.  

Our top stories last week

Among Crunchbase News’ most-read stories last week:

What I’m reading

  • Okta co-founder and CEO Todd McKinnon shared a great thread detailing his experience taking that company public in 2017. 
  • Six months after venture firm Sequoia published its Black Swan Memo—an open letter to its portfolio companies warning that COVID-19 could have devastating economic consequences—partner Roelof Botha was relieved last week to admit that, for the startup and venture industry at least, things haven’t turned out so dire after all. Sequoia is a big winner in the Snowflake, Unity and Sumo Logic IPOs and was also an early investor in TikTok.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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