The IPO market flattens out at an awkward moment. While private markets are at high risk, a major avenue for exiting startups — and investor liquidity — appears closed.
Our first indication that this was the case was the postponement of Justworks’ IPO in the United States, which pulled the plug on its debut close to when the price and float were set. For the HR-focused software company, milder-than-expected market conditions meant the IPO had to go back in the box.
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But a single IPO slowdown, even one with somewhat explicit comments about the cause of the pause, is not a trend. That’s why TechCrunch waited for more data to drop before emphasizing that the global technology IPO market is currently on lunch break. That came today.
This morning, news broke that WeTransfer’s parent company, WeRock, puts its IPO on hold. The Dutch company would list on Euronext Amsterdam and bring liquidity to the founding team, employees and external lender Highland Europe. And to cap off the aftermath of bad news, a fascinating SPAC deal involving space and flying objects hit turbulence when it reached Max Q and started trading this week.
For the increasing number of unicorns around the world, it is a critical question. Rising antitrust sentiment in governing bodies means the M&A market is weak. What’s next for IPOs?
WeRock becomes WeWait
WeRock’s main property, WeTransfer, is a SaaS startup with various subscription tools. in his official prospectus, the company describes itself as an “ecosystem of creative productivity tools” through which it monetizes both on a subscription basis and through advertising.