It has been a slow start for the U.S. IPO market in 2019. Citing the effects of the longest U.S. government shutdown ever recorded, EY’s Global IPO Trends report noted that only 20 companies went public on U.S. exchanges, raising approximately $3 billion in proceeds. This was a 57% drop in number of IPOs, and an 83% drop in proceeds, compared to the first quarter of 2018. The median IPO deal size was $83 million for the first quarter, with the largest IPO raising approximately $753 million in proceeds at the time of the report’s publication. All but one of the 20 companies reported are listed on Nasdaq. The healthcare sector dominated the IPO market with 14 completed deals, raising $1.2 billion in proceeds.
Four of the first quarter’s IPOs were financial sponsor-backed. On March 29, after the publication of EY’s report, LYFT Inc., the ridesharing application company, went public on Nasdaq, raising $2.3 billion. Confidential filings allow for less visibility into the IPO pipeline, however, as the report notes, we expect to see various tech unicorns go public in 2019.