What I Learned This Week

The year of the unicorn IPO: Can the market handle a flood of new supply? Will excessive valuations doom new tech listings and expose Silicon Valley excesses?

A who’s who of unicorns are preparing to go public this year. An S-1 filing from ride-hailing giant Lyft is expected any day. Uber, Postmates, Pinterest, Slack, and Zoom have all privately filed. Last week, Peloton picked Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan to lead its IPO. Palantir is reportedly in talks with J.P. Morgan. And rumors continue to swirl that AirBnB is considering a direct listing. Based on a recent Goldman Sachs estimate, the value of IPOs in the U.S. this year will exceed $80 billion, double the yearly average since 1990. That estimate could prove conservative. Renaissance Capital, which maintains an IPO ETF, has a watch list of 226 companies it believes will likely go public in 2…

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