Going public madness: Affirm, Robinhood, Roblox, SoFi

Roblox and Affirm announced new plans to go public, after pulling back from the scorching hot markets in late-2020.

January 8, 2021

Following the gangbuster IPOs of DoorDash and Airbnb at the end of 2020, 2 other firms with public listing plans — Roblox and Affirm — pulled back to survey the field.

Now, they’re back:

  • Affirm, America’s leading “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) fintech firm, just closed its $264m acquisition of Canadian BNPL player PayBright and is targeting a $9B IPO. (We wrote more on the risks and opportunities of Affirm here.)
  • Roblox, which was targeting an IPO price of ~$8B in November, will now do a direct listing at a slightly higher number: ~$30B (!!). During the pandemic, the sandbox game — which is extremely popular among the under-13 crowd — has seen crazy high engagement (we wrote more on Roblox’s wild 2020 here.)
  • Robinhood: The popular trading app — valued at $11.7B and with 13m+ users — is considering selling some of its IPO shares directly to users on its app. This is unusual, as retail investors typically don’t get allocated pre-IPO shares, and instead must get into markets on the first-day trading rush (at inflated prices).
  • SoFi will go public via a SPAC backed by billionaire Chamath Palihapitiya. This move will value the online lender at $8.65B, up from its most previous private round of $5.7B.

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