The IPO Buzz: Tech’s Late April Run

The tech sector didn’t blink even after the major U.S. stock indexes took a couple of hits to wrap up last week. Despite this slide, the IPO calendar added up to six new names for the final week of April. Four of those six names are from the technology sector and, depending upon “market conditions,” they could be drawing some attention.

Those names are Ceridian HCM Holding (CDAY proposed), DocuSign (DOCU proposed), nLIGHT (LASR proposed) and Smartsheet (SMAR proposed).

All told, this week’s IPO calendar has a total of eight names – with four from the technology sector. Rounding out the rest of the calendar are an insurance company; a pharma company already trading on the Taipei Exchange, and two carryovers from last week’s traffic. Collectively, these eight companies are looking to raise about $1.45 billion.

Should all eight get out the door, it would bring April 2018’s volume in line with the average traffic for the IPO market for the past 17 years. Five IPOs have already been priced this month and this week’s traffic would bring April 2018’s total to 13 deals. (This excludes foreign issues already trading on their national stock exchanges, but their American Depositary shares were new to the U.S. capital markets. Basically, those were public offerings.)

From 2001 through 2017, bankers priced a total of 219 IPOs in April, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s filings. That works out to an April mean average of 12.8 IPOs.

Tech Names On Tap

Now fast forward to the future. Taking a quick look at this week’s IPO traffic, we have the tech deals:

Ceridian HCM Holding, based in Minneapolis, provides human capital management software. The company offers recruiting, staff monitoring, payroll processing, employee engagement and human capital management technology services.

From the prospectus: Insiders have indicated an interest in purchasing $100 million of the company’s $142 million IPO and affiliates of Dragoneer Investment Group have indicated an interest in buying up to $75 million.

(For more information about the above company and others on the IPO calendar, please check the profiles found on’s website.)

DocuSign, based in San Francisco, is a provider of a cloud-based electronic signature platform to facilitate the electronic exchange of contracts and signed documents. It includes authentication services, user identity management and workflow automation.

nLIGHT, based in Vancouver, Washington, specializes in diode laser components and systems, fiber laser components and systems, and optical fibers.

Smartsheet, based in Bellevue, Washington, is a provider of a cloud-based platform. The company’s product is used to assign tasks, track project progress, manage calendars, share documents and manage other work. It has a spreadsheet-like user interface.

Insurance and Drugs

The other new faces that jumped onto the IPO calendar are Goosehead Insurance (GSHD proposed) and Taiwan Liposome (TLC).

Goosehead Insurance, based in Westlake, Texas, is a growing independent personal lines insurance agency. The company offers over 80 insurance companies that underwrite personal lines and small commercial lines risks.

Taiwan Liposome, based in Taipei City, Taiwan, is a clinical- stage specialty pharma company using its proprietary technology to develop lipid formulations of approved drugs to treat pain and eye disease.

From the prospectus: Its stock trades on the Taipei Exchange. The stock being offered will be a new NASDAQ offering. Technically, this is not an IPO.

Drug Carryovers

Mereo BioPharma Group (MRE0 proposed), based in London, is focused on in-licensing mid-stage rare disease drug candidates from large pharmaceutical companies. Its lead candidate is in a Phase 2b trial for adults with brittle bone disease and is expected to begin a Phase 2b/3 trial for children.
From the prospectus: The company’s shares are traded on AIM, a market of the London Stock Exchange, under the symbol “MPH.” The deal was to have been priced last week, but it was moved to a day-to-day basis. 

Alzheon (ALZH proposed), based in Framingham, Massachusetts, is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company with a Phase 3-ready program to treat Alzheimer’s disease and a discovery platform of small molecules to inhibit protein misfolding in neurodegenerative disorders.

Note: Alzheon has no insiders buying into the IPO, no collaborators and no revenue. The deal was scheduled to have been priced earlier, but was moved to a “day-to-day” basis. 

Sneak Peek at May

For the week of April 30, 2018, the IPO calendar has just one deal and its shares are traded on the Taipei Exchange. This public offering is scheduled for Wednesday night, May 2nd, to start trading on the NASDAQ on Thursday, May 3rd.

Nevertheless, anything can happen when the SEC’s filing window opens again for business on Monday morning.

Stay tuned.

Disclosure: Neither the author nor anyone else on the staff has a position in any stocks mentioned, nor do we trade or invest in IPOs. The author and staff do not issue advice, recommendations or opinions.