Public Markets

This Week’s IPOs: Elastic, Upwork, And YayYo

Morning Report: Welcome to the third consecutive edition of who is going public this week?

After an interesting and varied IPO run last week, we have another grip of technology firms going public on the domestic exchanges: Elastic, Upwork, and YayYo.

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Elastic, as you recall, is a SaaS company focused on search, Upwork is a huge freelance platform, and YayYo makes no sense. Here’s what you need to know:


Upwork was formed out of the union of freelance pioneers eLance and Odesk, raising $168.8 million during its life as a private company. As Crunchbase News reported before, its investors include FirstMark Kleiner PerkinsT. Rowe Price, and New Enterprise Associates.

Of this week’s three IPOs, Upwork should be the first out of the gate. Looking for a $12 to $14 per share price range, the company could raise around $160 million in its Wednesday debut. Notably, that is an increase of several dollars per share from Upwork’s first range of $10 to $12 per share.

You can read our full dive into its financials here, but let me remind you of the highlights. Upwork’s revenue grew just under 28 percent from the first half of 2017 to 2018, from $164.4 million to $202.6 million. That’s not a record-breaking pace of growth, but should be enough to entice public-market investors who have shown an appetite for even middling-growth tech shares.

Upwork also has growing positive cash flow and improving gross margins, coupled with quickly rising sales and marketing costs. It’s a mixed bag. However, Upwork has increased its range, so things are looking pretty good for the company.


Elastic, an open-source focused search shop with subscription revenues, was born in early 2012. For 2018, that’s a pretty quick birth-to-IPO run. Its investors include Benchmark, Index Ventures, and New Enterprise Associates (again).

Going live on Friday, Elastic’s IPO is one that we understand pretty well. Hoping for a $26 to $29 per-share price range, the firm could raise just over $190 million in its debut.

As a company, Elastic is growing quickly. The firm grew 79.1 percent in the July, 2018 quarter compared to the corresponding year-ago period. The firm’s GAAP losses are expanding; however, net losses are falling as a percent of revenue when looking at its full-year periods, .

Elastic, much more than Upwork, meets the high-growth, high-burn Silicon Valley model. As such, market reaction to its shares when they finally float will be interesting; a booming pop would mark yet another positive reception on the public markets for companies growing at the cost of steep deficits. That could entice startups still on the fence about pulling the trigger to get out.


YayYo was on our list last week. and we haven’t learned much about what it does since then. Per public IPO calendars, the firm’s IPO is set to take place this week. I am not sure if we’ll bring you more about the firm. What it does and what it will do in the future isn’t entirely clear. But it’s a US-listed tech IPO that may touch down this week, so we’d be remiss to not mention it here.

And that’s it for now!

Top Image Credit: Li-Anne Dias.

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