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Call it a "Back-to-Basics" edition of the Daily Stack, but sometimes you need to consider what all these private companies and their investors are vying for. What's their end game? Utopian mission statements aside, many of the businesses we cover here on the Daily Stack are shooting for a big payday. For many, that payday comes upon "going public". They can either create new shares in an IPO or use existing shares via a direct listing. While the company carries on after going public, making it to this point is an end as much as it is a beginning. Investors, in particular, can cash out on their early interest in the company to start the whole process over somewhere else.
Rent the Runway is one such company that just went public. The company debuted Wednesday on the Exchange, selling 17 million shares at $23 per share. Those numbers bring the company's market valuation to $1.3BN compared with its last funding round valuation of $870MM. With employee shares and other holdings, the fully diluted value is around $1.5BN (for a definition of fully diluted, I'll defer). With the $357MM of fresh funding from the public, the company plans to expand its subscribership in monthly rentals and move into the resale market popularized by companies like The Real Real and Rebag.
Informatica, a Redwood city enterprise software company, just debuted a second time after it was taken private by Canada's Pension Plan Investment Board and Permira back in 2015 for $5.3BN. The cloud data management provider is now worth $7.9BN. Its IPO adds to the $33BN pool raised by 67 software companies so far this year.
Nerdwallet had a tough year in 2020, only growing by 7.5%, which, for a venture-backed business, is not considered good. Still, the company has proved valuable, doling out free financial advice and charging a commission to financial institutions who benefit. The company's expected IPO date falls in mid-December at a valuation of around $5BN.
For employees, these are the moments when their stock options finally pay off. For those in the job market after the Great Resignation, there are tips for negotiating these options with the next up & comers, from none other than Nerdwallet themselves. And after Mailchimp infamously never gave out stock options, promising they wouldn't sell before ultimately selling for $10BN+, it’s good to get it in writing.