Going public through an initial public offering (IPO) is a significant milestone for any entrepreneur. Not only does it mark the culmination of years of hard work and dedication, but it also offers an opportunity to access a new pool of capital and gain greater visibility in the market.
10 Best IPOs for Entrepreneurs to Learn From
But the road to an IPO is a long and complex one, and there are many lessons to be learned from those who have gone before.
In this article, we explore 10 of the best IPOs for entrepreneurs to learn from, highlighting key takeaways and lessons for those looking to take their own companies public.
Alibaba Group Holding Limited (BABA)
In 2014, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba made headlines with its record-breaking IPO, raising $25 billion and becoming the largest IPO in history. Alibaba’s success was due in large part to its dominant market position in China’s fast-growing e-commerce sector, as well as its visionary founder, Jack Ma.
Key lesson for entrepreneurs: Build a strong market position and a compelling story around your brand.
Facebook, Inc. (FB)
In 2012, social media giant Facebook went public in a highly anticipated IPO that valued the company at $104 billion. Despite early concerns about the company’s ability to monetise its user base, Facebook has since gone on to become one of the most successful technology companies in history.
Key lesson for entrepreneurs: Focus on building a sustainable business model and monetising your product or service.
Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (ZM)
In 2019, video conferencing platform Zoom went public in an IPO that valued the company at $9.2 billion. The company’s success was due in part to its user-friendly interface, which quickly gained a loyal following among businesses and individuals alike.
Key lesson for entrepreneurs: Prioritise user experience and build a product that solves a real pain point for your customers.
Beyond Meat, Inc. (BYND)
In 2019, plant-based meat substitute company Beyond Meat went public in an IPO that valued the company at $3.8 billion. Beyond Meat’s success was due in part to growing demand for plant-based food products, as well as the company’s focus on sustainability and ethical sourcing.
Key lesson for entrepreneurs: Tap into growing consumer trends and focus on social responsibility and sustainability.
Shopify Inc. (SHOP)
In 2015, e-commerce platform Shopify went public in an IPO that raised $131 million. Since then, the company has gone on to become one of the most successful e-commerce platforms in the world, with a market capitalisation of over $160 billion.
Key lesson for entrepreneurs: Provide a simple and user-friendly platform for businesses to sell their products online.
Airbnb, Inc. (ABNB)
In 2020, vacation rental platform Airbnb went public in an IPO that valued the company at $47 billion. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Airbnb’s strong brand and loyal user base helped it weather the storm and emerge as one of the most successful IPOs of the year.
Key lesson for entrepreneurs: Build a strong brand and focus on creating a loyal user base that will weather difficult times.
Snowflake Inc. (SNOW)
In 2020, cloud data warehousing company Snowflake went public in an IPO that valued the company at $70 billion. Snowflake’s success was due in part to its innovative approach to data warehousing, which has quickly gained traction among businesses in need of a more flexible and scalable solution for managing their data.
Key lesson for entrepreneurs: Focus on solving a real pain point for businesses and offer an innovative solution that meets their needs.
Tesla, Inc. (TSLA)
In 2010, electric vehicle pioneer Tesla went public in an IPO that raised $226 million. Since then, the company has revolutionised the automotive industry and become one of the most valuable companies in the world, with a market capitalisation of over $700 billion.
Key lesson for entrepreneurs: Focus on innovation and disrupting established industries, even if it means taking on established players.
Peloton Interactive, Inc. (PTON)
In 2019, fitness technology company Peloton went public in an IPO that valued the company at $8.1 billion. Peloton’s success was due in part to its innovative approach to home fitness, which has become increasingly popular in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Key lesson for entrepreneurs: Tap into growing trends and focus on offering a unique and innovative solution to a common problem.
Coinbase Global, Inc. (COIN)
In 2021, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase went public in an IPO that valued the company at $86 billion. Coinbase’s success was due in part to the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies and the company’s focus on providing a safe and secure platform for users to buy, sell, and trade digital assets.
Key lesson for entrepreneurs: Keep an eye on emerging technologies and focus on building a secure and user-friendly platform for customers to engage with them.
Best IPOs: What “Going Public” Means
Entrepreneurs who have built successful businesses are often faced with the decision of whether to take their company public through an initial public offering (IPO).
An IPO is the process of selling shares of a private company to the public for the first time, thereby becoming a publicly traded company. This process can be a significant milestone in a company’s growth and can offer many benefits, but it also has drawbacks that entrepreneurs need to consider.
In recent years, there have been many successful IPOs, with some companies seeing explosive growth after going public. In this article, we will explore what going public means, the benefits and drawbacks of IPOs, and some of the best IPOs for entrepreneurs to learn from.
What Going Public Means
When a company decides to go public, it means that they are selling shares of their company to the public for the first time. This process allows the company to raise capital and provides an opportunity for early investors to cash out. Going public also means that the company is subject to public scrutiny and regulations from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
To go public, a company must first file an S-1 registration statement with the SEC, which includes detailed information about the company’s financials, operations, and management. Once the SEC approves the registration statement, the company can begin selling shares to the public through an underwriting process, in which investment banks purchase the shares from the company and then sell them to the public.
Benefits of Going Public
One of the primary benefits of going public is access to capital. By selling shares to the public, a company can raise significant amounts of money to fuel growth, expand operations, or pay off debt. This influx of capital can also increase the company’s visibility and credibility, attracting new customers and investors.
Going public can also offer liquidity for early investors, allowing them to cash out their investments and providing an exit strategy. This liquidity can be especially important for venture capitalists and other early investors who have been with the company for several years and are looking to move on to other investments.
Finally, going public can provide a currency for acquisitions. Publicly traded companies can use their stock to acquire other companies, allowing them to grow and diversify their business.
Drawbacks of Going Public
While there are many benefits to going public, there are also some drawbacks that entrepreneurs need to consider. One of the most significant drawbacks is the loss of control. When a company goes public, it is subject to the scrutiny of the public and must answer to shareholders, who may have different priorities than the company’s founders.
Going public also requires significant time and resources. The process of preparing for an IPO can be time-consuming and expensive, and the ongoing reporting requirements can be a burden for small companies.
Finally, going public can also lead to short-term thinking. Public companies are often under pressure to deliver quarterly results and meet analyst expectations, which can lead to short-term decision making that may not be in the best interest of the company’s long-term growth.
Going public through an IPO is a significant milestone for any entrepreneur, but it is also a long and complex process that requires careful planning and execution. By learning from the successes and failures of those who have gone before, entrepreneurs can gain valuable insights and best practices to apply in their own ventures.
The 10 IPOs highlighted in this article offer a range of lessons and takeaways for entrepreneurs to consider, from building a strong market position and sustainable business model to tapping into growing trends and providing a user-friendly platform for customers.
Ultimately, the key to a successful IPO is to build a strong and innovative business that solves a real pain point for customers, while also focusing on creating a loyal user base and maintaining a strong brand identity. By following these best practices and learning from the experiences of others, entrepreneurs can increase their chances of success and take their companies to the next level.
As with any business decision, going public through an IPO comes with its own set of risks and challenges. However, by learning from the experiences of successful companies that have navigated this process successfully, entrepreneurs can gain valuable insights and increase their chances of success.
If you are considering taking your company public through an IPO, it is important to do your due diligence, seek expert advice and guidance, and develop a strong business plan that can withstand the scrutiny of public markets.
In addition to the companies highlighted in this article, there are many other successful IPOs that entrepreneurs can learn from, including Airbnb, Zoom, and Snowflake, among others.
As the global economy continues to evolve and new technologies emerge, there will always be opportunities for innovative entrepreneurs to disrupt established industries and create new markets. By learning from the successes and failures of others, and applying these lessons to their own ventures, entrepreneurs can increase their chances of success and achieve their goals.