On August 5th, TechCrunch wrote that startups should “go public while software valuations make no sense.” What came next was a happy coincidence. Just a few weeks after that post, Unity, JFrog, Asana, Snowflake and Sumo Logic all filed to go public.
Today we’re seeing some data from those debuts, most notably the incredibly strong pricing runs from both JFrog and Snowflake. But even more, Snowflake just opened at either $245 or $269.50, depending on your data source. Regardless, the company’s stock is currently worth $276.2 per share, some 130% higher than its IPO price. Which, as we noted earlier, was already pretty high, given the company’s most recent revenue results.
Adding to the Snowflake example, JFrog opened worth around $71.30 today, sharply higher than its above-an-already-raised-range IPO price of $44. That’s wild! JFrog is now worth around $7 billion, despite having posted revenue in its last quarter of just $36.4 million.
The message from today’s debuts appears to be that valuations are unmoored from old rules — for the moment, that is — and thus companies that can post 100% growth or greater have little in the way of a cap on their upper limit.
Our takeaway: Go public now.
Adding to the good news is that some of the valuations we’ve understood less than others are holding up. First-day pop-and-drop today’s market isn’t. For example, Lemonade is still up about 50% from its IPO price, and OneMedical is up 100% from its own. So, software valuations are so wild that even software-adjacent companies are benefiting!
This is excellent news for a great number of unicorns. The good times are still here, amazingly, while the economy is still pretty bad and the election looms. All those old rules about having successive quarters of profitability and not going public during more turbulent years is, for now, bullshit.
Normalcy will re-emerge at some point. Things will eventually quiet down. But not yet, so get that S-1 out and take advantage of the good times while they last.
This post first appeared here: https://techcrunch.com/2020/09/16/go-public-now-while-software-valuations-make-no-sense-part-ii/