Number of the Day

The Shockingly Frothy 2020 IPO Market, By the Numbers

The pandemic-induced recession has not affected companies’ ability to raise funds from the public markets. Will Airbnb be next?

Number of the Day: $64,000,000,000
Photo illustration, source: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

$64 billion: That’s how much initial public offerings listed on U.S. exchanges have raised in 2020, according to Dealogic, a market analytics firm. This surprisingly high figure has likely influenced favorite will-it-or-won’t-it-go-public unicorn, Airbnb. Reports say the home-share platform will file to IPO this month. At the start of 2020, Airbnb was perhaps the most-scrutinized candidate for a public offering, but it was one of many. When a wave of lockdowns shuttered the economy in March, that market froze in place — but, surprisingly, not for long.

As the stock exchanges have recovered, the IPO market has been on fire — a rush of public offerings has already added up to a bigger IPO haul in 2020 than in any year since 2014, according to Dealogic data provided to Marker. And it’s only August!

No wonder Airbnb — which has lately seen a resurgence, seeing on July 8 its first $1 million-booking day since early March, according to the Wall Street Journal — might be anxious to make its shares available to an investing public that’s apparently in a surprisingly upbeat mood.

Bottom line: Airbnb would love a vacation from bleak economic realities as much as the rest of us would.

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