Investors generally expect companies valued at billions of dollars to go public. Companies that issue an initial public offering (IPO) can use the funds to invest in growth opportunities. In exchange, they are exposed to much greater public scrutiny and will have a larger group of shareholders to answer to.
Lately, several high-profile tech IPOs, including companies like Groupon and Twitter, have proven very disappointing. Perhaps for this reason, and also potentially due to an uncertain macroeconomic environment, many massive companies have remained private. Others, such as Snap, Inc., the owner of Snapchat worth an estimated $20 billion, have announced plans to go public in 2017.
PrivCo, a company specializing in the finances of private corporations, provided 24/7 Wall St. with its estimates of revenues, valuations, and funds raised by some of the largest private global companies. PrivCo listed 18 major private companies that appear poised to issue a public offering some time in 2017. These companies range from MapR Technologies, which has a valuation of $488 million, to Uber, which is valued at $68 billion.
All of the companies on this list currently have hundreds of millions to billions of dollars in funding. Before going public, funding comes from a range of sources including banks, investment firms, and venture capitalists. For a given company’s private investors, an IPO provides an exit strategy, or an opportunity to withdraw funding, and profit, from their investment. The alternative is to look for a single strategic buyer.
Large companies that have raised significant capital are often cutting-edge tech companies, and most of this list consists of such companies. New technologies and new markets present opportunities for startups to establish themselves and gain substantial revenue.
Spotify, which PrivCo estimates will be worth $8 billion when it goes public, has been the most popular music streaming application. DJI is the global leader in the manufacturing of private-use drones. Uber has forever changed the makeup of public taxi systems in cities around the world.
Several of the companies on this list represent new media, either news sources or communications. Snap, Inc., which has already filed its paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a public offering, owns Snapchat, one of the hottest social media apps in the world today. Buzzfeed and Vice Media, which have helped change the way content is read and distributed on the internet and television, are also on this list of potential valuable IPOs.
As most of the major companies on this list represent substantial venture capital investment in new technologies, a large share are located in or near the Silicon Valley area in California.
Other companies on this list are not American, but have found success abroad following the models of certain American tech companies. Consumer electronics company Xiaomi, which is a leading producer of smartphones, is considered by many to be the Chinese Apple, while Coupang is a massive South Korean e-commerce company that has been likened to Amazon.
PrivCo provided 24/7 Wall St. with a list of companies that may go public in 2017. PrivCo established its list using a number of filters–including minimum thresholds for revenues, revenue growth, total funding, and location. All funding and revenue figures were provided by PrivCo, and are as of the most recent available funding period.
These are the 18 biggest companies to IPO in 2017.