Three 2019 Tech IPOs to Watch

Slack Technologies, AirBNB, Inc., and Palantir Technologies are about to go public.

Here are three tech companies with great prospects and initial public offerings planned for 2019– or 2020 at the latest.

Slack IPO (June 20, 2019)

Slack Technologies is planning to go the way of Spotify, whose stock debuted last year, and go public through a direct listing. The non-IPO is scheduled for June 20th. Slack shares will begin trading without raising any new funding for the company.

Slack (the Searchable Log of All Conversations and Knowledge) got its start as a propriety collaboration platform. Its creator was a game developer whose game flopped. The company’s CEO Stewart Butterfield decided to polish up the software and release it to the public as Slack.

Today it boasts 10 million daily active users. Those who use Slack know how convenient, useful, and downright friendly it is. They  will be able to own a piece of the company for what is likely to be a great value. That’s because of the unconventional non-IPO listing. It’s making it difficult for investors to determine what a share of Slack is really worth.

AirBNB IPO (TBD)

AirBNB is one of the tech titans of the new sharing economy. Like Uber– which turned unused vehicle mileage into services and profit– and eBay– which turned unused everything into goods and capital– AirBNB turned unused houses and apartments into the bed and breakfasts of the 21st century– and profit.

Unlike Slack, which is still working on narrowing its net losses toward profitability, AirBNB has achieved profitability and sustained it for two years heading into its IPO. That also gives it an edge over the other unicorn IPOs of 2019 like Uber and Lyft.

The company has booked hundreds of millions of guests since it was founded in 2008. Earlier this year AirBNB sold common shares in private placements at a valuation of $35 billion. That makes the company more valuable than travel booking website Expedia ($18 billion). It’s even worth more than hotel chains like Hilton ($25 billion).

Palantir IPO (TBD)

The brainchild of PayPal founder Peter Thiel (a cryptocurrency bull who invested in bitcoin before it was cool), Palantir Technologies is a super secretive data analytics company. Its client roster includes major hedge funds and banks as well as the Pentagon after scoring an $800 million contract with the U.S. DOD earlier this year.

Last month Bloomberg reported that Palantir’s revenue grew 40% last year to $1 billion, and had around $30 million in losses.

The highly anticipated Palantir IPO may be pushed off to 2020 because its four person board doesn’t satisfy SEC requirements for a majority of independent board members. Three of the board members are Palantir founders.

With just a few massive clients that pay Palantir to do something only Palantir can do, the linchpin big data company appears immune to the competitive threats that other companies with 2019 IPOs face. That makes its stock an attractive buy for investors who want something less risky than Snap, Lyft, or Uber.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.