Over the past couple of years, there has been no dearth of high-profile companies that have gone public, especially in the tech sector. This year has seen plenty of startups take the plunge and exceed expectations. Plant-based hamburger maker Beyond Meat has had a whopping year, while software companies Pinterest, PagerDuty, and Zoom are all trading well above their IPO prices. Although off recently, Uber also surpassed its $45 IPO price in July for the first time since going public.
However, WeWork, the company that rents out work spaces to start-ups and other businesses and was founded in 2010 by CEO Adam Neumann, is significantly lowering valuation targets for the controversial real estate company, which will now not go public next week, sources told CNBC.
Even at a $25 billion valuation, the demand is simply not there, according to the sources. WeWork last raised money at a $47 billion valuation in the private market.
According to its website, WeWork is “committed to elevating the collective consciousness of the world by expanding happiness and unleashing every human’s superpowers.”
Perhaps part of the issue with demand for WeWork is the fact that some feel the company is lacking innovation and is simply rehashing what already exists in the real estate marketplace.
“I had the privilege of investing in this kind of company once before. As a matter of fact, this kind of company began in 1956,” when office subletting emerged, said Sam Zell on Wednesday, a mogul who made nearly $6 billion in the commercial real estate business.
“Every single company in this space has gone broke,” he said, pointing to WeWork’s IPO disclosure last month of net losses of more than $900 million for the first six months of 2019 on revenue of $1.54 billion.
While WeWork may not be all it’s purported to be, investors can still participate in the IPO market using the Renaissance IPO ETF (IPO) from Renaissance Capital.
The ETF tracks the rules based Renaissance IPO Index, which adds sizeable new companies on a fast entry basis and the rest upon scheduled quarterly reviews. Companies that have been public for two years are removed at the next quarterly review.
The Renaissance IPO ETF (IPO) is composed of roughly 50% tech companies, with a generous helping of communication, real estate, health care, and consumer discretionary stocks as well.
The fund itself is up 27.79 percent year-to-date, making it one of the top ETFs highlighted in a recent segment of CNBC’s “ETF Edge.” Per CNBC, IPO consists of a “basket of 60 of the most recent large IPOs. No surprises here — the IPO market has been red hot this year, bolstered by record highs in the stock market. The average first-day pop of a new issue has been 22% — well above the historic average return of 12-15%. Top holdings include Okta, Spotify, Roku and DocuSign.”
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