The IPO Buzz: WISH Is The Word

WISH is the word circled by IPO investors this week. ContextLogic, Inc., which runs, a bargain hunters’ mobile shopping site, is going public with a proposed symbol – WISH – that’s right in tune with the holiday shopping season. This deal is joined by BioAtla, Inc.(BCAB proposed), a cancer-focused biopharma, and Upstart Holdings, Inc. (UPST proposed), an AI-driven cloud-based lending platform, on this week’s relatively light IPO Calendar.

Bankers expect to raise about $2.76 billion in proceeds from 12 deals this week, which could very well wrap up 2020 for the IPO market.

This week also marks the observance of Hanukkah, which began at sundown on Thursday, Dec. 10th, and continues through Friday, Dec. 18th. To all of our IPOScoop readers and subscribers who are celebrating Hanukkah: We wish you a Healthy and Happy Hanukkah!

WISH is “the deal of the week,” the IPO experts say. BioAtla (BCAB proposed) is in strong demand, and Upstart (UPST proposed) is generating robust interest at launch. Another IPO – 908 Devices Inc. (MASS proposed) landed on the IPO Calendar on Monday morning and attracted a lot of attention; this deal is set for pricing Thursday night. This week’s roster includes IPOs from six special-purpose acquisition companies, also known as SPACs, or blank-check companies, plus one small-cap IPO and a step-up offering (also known as an uplift) to the NASDAQ from the OTCQB Marketplace.

This light calendar comes after one of the biggest weeks in IPO history. Airbnb (ABNB) defied the skeptics and scored a moonshot, jumping 112.8 percent to close at $144.71 on Thursday, Dec. 10, its first day of trading.  DoorDash (DASH) soared 85.8 percent from its IPO price to close at $189.51 in its debut on Wednesday, Dec. 9. (AI) also scored a moonshot, closing on Wednesday at $92.49, up 120.2 percent from its IPO price. (A moonshot occurs when an IPO gains 100 percent – doubling in price – on its first day of trading.)

Wall Street broke out the party hats last week, when bankers priced 30 deals to raise about $14.1 billion. Of that total, nine traditional IPOs raised $9.2 billion, one uplift offering raised $99 million, and 20 SPACs brought in nearly $5 billion in proceeds. Fourteen of those 30 deals were priced on one night alone last week – Thursday, Dec. 10 – with the lineup consisting of four healthcare IPOs, the healthcare uplift offering, and nine SPACs.

Traffic at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s window was steady, although only six companies filed to go public. Four of those six new filings were by blank-check companies or SPACs. Most of the SEC’s filing window business last week came from amended offerings and filings related to the 30 deals that were priced.

Worth noting: Two IPOs on the “watch list” – Affirm Holdings, Inc. (AFRM proposed) and Roblox (RBLX proposed) have been rolled over to 2021, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The Week Ahead

Tuesday night is where the action is, when the three IPOs on the “most wanted” list this week are scheduled for pricing.

Let’s take a look at the 12 deals on the IPO Calendar, organized by pricing and trading dates.

Monday night pricing for Tuesday trading:

Americas Technology Acquisition Corp. (ATA.U proposed) is a Dallas, Texas-based SPAC that intends to focus on target companies in the TMT verticals sector in North America and South America. TMT (technology, media and telecom) verticals include cloud infrastructure, artificial intelligence, mobile apps, digital media, digital advertising, smartphone “Super Apps,” FinTech and ecommerce.

This is an IPO of 10 million units at $10 each to trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

EarlyBirdCapital is the sole book-runner.

Blue Water Acquisition Corp. (BLUWU proposed) is a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that intends to search for a target business in the healthcare industry in the United States  and Europe. The Greenwich, Connecticut-based SPAC says its priority targets will be companies in the life sciences and pharmaceutical sectors.

This is a SPAC IPO of 5.0 million units at $10 each to trade on the NASDAQ.

Maxim Group LLC is the sole book-runner.

KINS Technology Group Inc. (KINZ.U proposed) is a Palo Alto, California-based SPAC that intends to buy a transformative technology company.

This is an IPO of 20 million units at $10 each to trade on the NASDAQ.

UBS Investment Bank, Stifel and BTIG are the joint book-runners.

Marquee Raine Acquisition Corp. (MRAC U proposed) is a New York-based SPAC with a TMT focus. This SPAC or blank-check company is looking for target companies involved in interactive entertainment and games, real money gaming, digital media, sports and sports-enabled assets, live entertainment and more. 

This is an IPO of 32.5 million units at $10 each to trade on the NASDAQ.

Credit Suisse is the sole book-runner. 

Oriental Culture Holding, Ltd. (OCG proposed) is an online provider of collectibles and artwork e-commerce services, which allow collectors, artists, art dealers and owners to access a much bigger art trading market than they could likely encounter without its platforms. The Nanjing, China-based company says that its subsidiaries in Hong Kong own its leading online platforms.

This is a small-cap IPO of 5.1 million shares at $4 each to trade on the NASDAQ.

ViewTrade Securities, Prime Number Capital and China Tonghai Securities Limited are the joint book-runners.

Tuesday night pricing for Wednesday trading:

BioAtla, Inc. (BCAB proposed) is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing a novel class of antibody-based therapeutics to treat solid tumor cancer. The San Diego, California-based company says  its antibodies are designed to selectively bind to their targets on tumor cells under acidic pH conditions, but not on targets in normal tissues. This characteristic helps reduce the toxicity of cancer treatments to healthy tissues. BioAtla’s leading drug candidates are in clinical trials for evaluation as treatments of patients with various types of cancer, including bone sarcoma, lung cancer, ovarian cancer, melanoma, bladder cancer, renal cancer, liver cancer, gastric cancer and cervical cancer.

Note: BioAtla has collaboration agreements.

This is an IPO of 9.4 million shares at $15 to $17 each to trade on the NASDAQ.

J.P. Morgan, Jefferies, Credit Suisse and BTIG are the joint book-runners.

ContextLogic, Inc. (Wish) (WISH proposed) says it is “focused on democratizing mobile commerce by making it affordable and accessible to anyone.”  Its mobile shopping platform,, caters to   bargain hunters who are looking for dollar-store discounts.  Most of the San Francisco-based company’s merchants are in China.  In 2019, though, four out of the top 10 selling merchants on were U.S.-based, and they were selling refurbished electronics, beauty products and hobby items, the prospectus says. The company says it has more than 100 million monthly active users (“MAUs”) in over 100 countries with more than 500,000 merchants offering about 150 million items.

Note: The company  reported about $2.32 billion in revenue and posted a net loss of $300 million in the last 12 months.

The WISH IPO consists of 46.0 million shares at $22 to $24 to trade on the NASDAQ.

Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and BofA Securities are the joint book-runners.

Upstart Holdings, Inc. (UPST proposed) is an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven lending platform based in the cloud. The company’s platform connects consumers with its network of bank partners. Upstart says  consumers benefit from higher approval rates and lower interest rates as well as from its highly automated and efficient all-digital experience.  The company says its bank partners benefit from access to new customers, lower fraud and loss rates, and increased automation throughout the lending process. Upstart is based in San Mateo, California.

Note: Upstart reported revenue of $209.3 million and a net loss of $1.1 million for the last 12 months that ended on Sept. 30, 2020, according to financial statements in the prospectus.

This is an IPO of 12.0 million shares at $20 to $22 each to trade on the NASDAQ.

Goldman Sachs, BofA Securities and Citigroup are the joint book-runners.

Wednesday night pricing for Thursday trading:

Corner Growth Acquisition Corp. (COOLU proposed) is a Palo Alto, California-based SPAC that intends to invest in fast-growing technology companies.

This is an IPO of 30 million units at $10 each to trade on the NASDAQ.

Cantor is the sole book-runner.

Midwest Holding (MDWT proposed) is a rapidly growing financial services company that provides technology-enabled and services-oriented solutions to distributors and reinsurers of annuity and life insurance products in the United States. The company is based in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Note: This is NOT an IPO. This is a “step-up” offering, also known as an uplift, to the NASDAQ from the OTCQB.

The deal’s size is 1.0 million shares at $70 to $74 each.

Piper Sandler is the lead manager. Needham & Co. is the co-manager.

Thursday night pricing for Friday trading:

908 Devices, Inc. (MASS proposed) designs and makes handheld and desktop mass spectrometry devices. The Boston-based company says that front-line workers use their handheld devices to combat the opioid crisis by detecting counterfeit pharmaceuticals and illicit materials in the air or on surfaces. The company says its desktop devices are used to speed up research, development and production of drug candidates, functional proteins, cell and gene therapies, and synthetic biologic products.

This is an IPO of 6.25 million shares at $15 to $17 each to trade on the NASDAQ.

Cowen, SVB Leerink, William Blair and Stifel are the joint book-runners.

Week of Dec. 14 Pricing

Dune Acquisition Corp. (DUNEU proposed) is a tech-focused SPAC that intends to search for software companies, particularly those pursuing a Software as a Service (SaaS) model. This SPAC will look for target companies with an enterprise value of $300 million to $1 billion. Dune Acquisition is based in West Palm Beach, Florida.

This is a SPAC IPO of 13 million units at $10 each to trade on the NASDAQ.

Cantor is the sole book-runner.

Week of Dec. 21st

No IPOs have been scheduled yet for the week of Dec. 21st, when Christmas will be celebrated on Friday. The IPO market usually closes its production line during this week when kids of all ages keep their eyes on Santa’s sleigh.  This is an unusual year, though, when the IPO market has broken away from its usual playbook. So some more names could land on the IPO Calendar for Christmas week – or slide onto this week’s schedule – as the filings flow in at the SEC.

Stay tuned.

(Editor’s Note: This column was updated Monday afternoon to include deals added to the IPO Calendar today.)

(For more information about these companies, please check the IPO profiles on

(Never trade on proposed symbols. You might wind up owning something on the OTC Bulletin Board.)

Disclosure: Nobody on the staff has a position in any stocks mentioned above, nor do they trade or invest in IPOs. The staff does not issue advice, recommendations or opinions.

Disclaimer: A SCOOP Rating (Wall Street Consensus of Opening-day Premiums), is a general consensus taken, at press time, from Wall Street and investment professionals concerning how well an IPO might perform when it starts trading. The SCOOP Rating does not reflect the opinions of anyone associated with The SCOOP ratings should not be taken as investment advice. The rating merely reflects the opinion of the professionals at the time of publication and is subject to last-minute changes due to market conditions, changes in a specific offering and other factors, such as changes in the proposed offering terms and the shifting of investor interest in the IPO. The information offered is taken from sources we believe to be reliable, but we cannot guarantee the accuracy.