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Morning Report: As Redfin Soars Post-IPO, Here Are Two Impending Tech IPOs Worth Watching

Morning Report: Shares of tech’s latest IPO Redfin are up again today. For some companies, the market is more than hospitable.

Shares of Redfin, the latest entry to our running list of US-listed technology IPOs in 2017, are up again today, climbing around 12 percent in morning trading. The firm, after pricing at $15, a dollar above its range, soared 44.7 percent in its first day of trading.

The Seattle-based shop is now worth $24.28 per share, or about 62 percent above its opening price.

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The Redfin results appear to show that not everything is Snap and Blue Apron and Tintri, a trio of unicorn offerings this year that have had rough starts to life as public companies. Those firms’ results, along with the firms that had to take a valuation haircut to get out the door, have cast a pall on IPO sentiment. Redfin’s success could push back on that story.

And for technology liquidity, this is good news. Two firms, as of Friday, have privately filed to go public, according to our friends at TechCrunch (particularly Equity co-hosts Katie Roof and Matthew Lynley, but I digress). The firms, Roku and Stitch Fix, are each interesting for their own reasons:

  • Stitch Fix is not a known unicorn. In fact, the firm hasn’t raised external capital since June 2014 and has raised a tiny $42.5 million to date. That’s why, I would hazard, it’s not a known unicorn, something that would put it on either the current or upcoming unicorn charts. But you don’t get a new valuation, mostly, until you re-price. And that happens with a new round. And Stitch Fix hasn’t had one in a while. That length of time alone implies a healthy company; a private shop that is growing and can avoid raising new, external capital is rare. So rare, you could call it a, well, you know.
  • Roku, another firm not on the now or future unicorn charts, could go public at around $1 billion. This is notable for two reasons. It was said that Roku was looking to raise private funds at a $1.5 billion valuation earlier this year. That didn’t pan out. And the firm was worth just a hair under the $1 billion mark in 2016 when it raised its last capital. That implies a flat-ish IPO. But an IPO all the same, and one that just failed to secure an up valuation from private investors. That sounds like a corker.
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That firms are looking to go public feels bullish to a degree. However, we’ll wait for the S-1s before we get too polite.

Still, Redfin’s results show that, for companies in good financial health, the public markets are open.

From the Crunchbase Daily:

Snapdeal turns down Flipkart offer

  • India’s Snapdeal said it has decided to remain independent, ending prospects of an acquisition by rival Flipkart. Previously, Flipkart had offered to pay up to $950 million for the online retailer.

SoundCloud eyes sale to PE buyers

  • SoundCloud is nearing a deal to sell a majority stake to a pair of private equity firms, according to a Bloomberg report citing unnamed sources. The sale could help shore up finances for the beleaguered music-streaming service, which announced steep layoffs earlier this month.

For bike sharing, high growth comes at high price

  • Profit is taking a backseat to growth in the Chinese bike-sharing market, as investors pump billions into leading players to fuel rapid expansion plans, Crunchbase News reports. In other news, we interview Jill Nelson, founder of Ruby Receptionists.

Stitch Fix said to file for IPO

  • Fashion startup Stitch Fix has filed confidentially for an IPO, TechCrunch reports. The six-year-old company, which combines data-gathering and personal stylists to assemble clothing packages for customers, previously raised about $43 million in venture funding.