U.S. IPO Weekly Recap: Spotify Files For A $1 Billion Non-IPO

Mar. 03, 2018 7:46 AM ETSPOT

The decacorns keep coming. Spotify filed its highly-anticipated F-1, which sets it up for a public listing that could occur in late March.


Spotify is not an underwritten IPO. Its owners will simply be able to begin selling their shares on the NYSE. Yet, its $1 billion filing has plenty to analyze, and Renaissance will issue research to our institutional clients. Some quick takeaways: Based on where it has traded privately this year, Spotify could be worth $17 to $25 billion. In 2017, it grew sales by 39% to $5.0 billion. Even Netflix (NFLX) didn't put up those numbers. Unlike Netflix, Spotify has a history of massive losses, losing over $300 million in adj. EBITDA in 2017.

In addition to Spotify, the week also saw filings from:

  • Two fast growing but unprofitable Chinese video streaming services.
  • Two profitable Chinese businesses, hotel franchising and after-school education.
  • Two biotechs in hot spaces, immunotherapy and gene therapy.

7 Filings During the Week of February 26th, 2018





Bilibili (BILI)



Morgan Stanley

Largest Chinese anime streaming website.

Homology Medicines (FIXX)


Health Care


Preclinical biotech developing a gene therapy delivery platform for rare diseases.

OneSmart Education (ONE)


Consumer Discretionary

Morgan Stanley

Provides K-12 after-school education in China.

Unum Therapeutics (UNUM)


Health Care

Morgan Stanley

Developing antibody-coupled T cell immunotherapies for cancers.

Spotify (SPOT)



World's largest music streaming subscription service.

GreenTree Hospitality (GHG)


Consumer Discretionary

Morgan Stanley

Franchises over 2,000 economy and mid-scale hotels in China.




Goldman (Asia)

Chinese online television and movie portal owned by Baidu.

Moving on to actual IPOs... 6 more filings from China and biotechs

Spotify grabbed headlines, but iQIYI should get some limelight too. China's largest online TV and movie platform filed to raise $1.5 billion, triple the size of Dropbox's proposed offering. It's now the second-largest deal in the US IPO pipeline. Revenue skyrocketed 55% to $2.7 billion in 2017 as subscribers rose to 51 million, close to what Netflix has in the US. Yet, its gross margin was 0% with operating losses of more than $600 million. It can launch its roadshow on March 14.

Chinese anime video sharing app Bilibili filed to raise $400 million; it nearly quadrupled sales in 2017 to about $400 million and approached breakeven adj. EBITDA. Shanghai-based OneSmart Education Group filed to raise $300 million; it grew 35% in 2017, and with over $300 million in sales, it is larger than last year's four Chinese education IPOs. Profitable hotel franchisor GreenTree Hospitality filed to raise $200 million in the US.

Immunotherapy biotech Unum Therapeutics plans to raise $86 million, while gene therapy biotech Homology Medicines filed to raise $100 million. It is worth noting that this year's best-performing IPOs are the two biotechs developing gene therapies (Solid Biosciences (SLDB)) and immunotherapies (ARMO BioSciences, (ARMO)).

Private Company News: Glassdoor and NIO prep IPOs

News broke this week that jobs website Glassdoor was prepping a 2018 IPO, along with Chinese electric vehicle startup NIO.

Just One IPO This Past Week, a Blank Check

Blank check company Union Acquisition became the year's ninth SPAC to IPO. Led by Union Group's Juan Sartori and Atlantic-Pacific Capital's Kyle Bransfield, it raised $100 million to acquire a Latin American business.

In other SPAC news, VC-backed tech startup Phunware announced that it would go public by being acquired by 2016 SPAC Stellar Acquisition III (STLRU) for $310 million.

IPO Market Snapshot

The Renaissance IPO Indices are market cap weighted baskets of newly public companies. The Renaissance IPO Index has returned 0.5% year-to-date and the S&P 500 is up 0.5%. Renaissance Capital's IPO ETF (NYSE: IPO) tracks the index, and top ETF holdings include Snap (SNAP) and US Foods (USFD). The Renaissance International IPO Index is up 3.2% year-to-date, while the ACWX is down 0.5%. Renaissance Capital's International IPO ETF (NYSE: IPOS) tracks the index, and top ETF holdings include Orsted (DONG Energy) and ASR Nederland.

This article was written by

Renaissance Capital provides pre-IPO research to institutional investors and investment banks. The Firm manages two IPO-focused funds: The Renaissance IPO ETF (NYSE: IPO) and the Renaissance International IPO ETF (NYSE: IPOS). Individual investors can get a free overview of the IPO market on www.renaissancecapital.com, and try a free trial of our premium platform, IPO Pro (ipopro.renaissancecapital.com). Through Renaissance Capital’s pre-IPO research service, institutional investors get an independent opinion, in-depth fundamental analysis, and customizable financial models on all IPOs.

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