A boom in company listings in the first months of 2021 has led to a new all-time high for proceeds from initial public offerings (IPOs), soaring past the previous record set during the dot com boom at the turn of the millennium.
So far this year. 875 IPOs raising at least US$1mln have been carried out, outstripping the 592 firms that floated over the same period in the year 2000, according to data from Dealogic in an FT report.
The influx has been largely correlated with the rise of special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), shell companies with no underlying business that raise capital from investors to acquire private firms.
Notable firms reported to be using SPACs as a listing method include Singapore taxi and food delivery app Grab as well as office space rental firm WeWork, both of which are valued in the billions of dollars.
As a result of the tidal wave of floats, IPO proceeds so far this year have risen to US$230bn, much higher than the previous record of US$80bn set 21 years ago, as well as surpassing the full-year totals set in 21 of the last 26 years.
The upswing in listings has been on full display in several global markets including in the US and the UK.
High profile floats in London this year include takeaway Deliveroo Holdings PLC (LON:ROO), boot maker Dr Martens PLC (LON:DOCS), online gift card firm Moonpig Group PLC (LON:MOON), finance firm PensionBee Group PLC (LON:PBEE) and review website Trustpilot Group PLC (LON:TRST).
The momentum is also expected to continue on both sides of the Atlantic, with floats expected from firms including US trading app Robinhood, oat milk maker Oatly, cybersecurity group Darktrace, DNA sequencing technology specialist Oxford Nanopore and vaccine developer Vaccitech.