1. Instacart

woman wearing instacart tshirt walks with bag of groceries and
instacart.com

When the coronavirus pandemic descended in March, most companies faced a pretty grim forecast of layoffs, furloughs and bankruptcies.

But some companies happened to be perfectly positioned for a dramatic shift in consumer behavior. Instacart, the online grocery delivery company, is one of those “right place, right time” companies.

It’s now partnered with more than 500 retailers to provide delivery from nearly 40,000 locations across the U.S. and Canada. And after a recent round of funding, Instacart says it’ll expand to include even more retailers.

An IPO is still only in the rumor stage; there haven’t yet been any filings or announcements. However, Reuters reports the San Francisco-based company has already enlisted investment bank Goldman Sachs to help ready an IPO valued at about $30 billion (USD).

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2. Bumble

closeup on fingers swiping on bumble app
bumble.com

Yes, Bumble’s IPO is generating some serious buzz.

Bad puns aside, the company is set to take advantage of the ever-expanding boom in virtual dating. With bars closed, concerts postponed, house parties outlawed and workplaces remote, where else would you meet a potential partner?

Tinder may still be the top dating app, but Bumble is flying up the ranks.

The female-first app only allows women to make the initial move when heterosexual singles match. Bumble has also advanced beyond dating to include professional and social networking, too.

Match Group, the parent company of Tinder and a variety of other dating apps, offered to acquire Bumble for $450 million (USD) back in 2017. But since that time, the dating app has grown from 22 million users to more than 100 million, according to various media reports.

Bumble is preparing for an initial public offering that could come early in 2021, and it’s seeking a valuation of $6 billion to $8 billion (USD), says BNN Bloomberg.

3. Robinhood

Investing and stock market concept gain and profits with faded candlestick charts.
Travis Wolfe / Shutterstock

Robinhood has helped bring simple investing to the masses. By dropping commission and trading fees, the app makes sure every dollar you make stays in your account.

It turns out that Americans — especially young Americans — are very interested. The app has collected more than 13 million users, including three million who joined in the first quarter of 2020 alone.

The company has picked Goldman Sachs to lead preparations for an IPO in 2021, which could value it at more than $20 billion (USD).

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4. Nextdoor

Senior woman with face mask in house quarantine talks to neighbor at safety distance
Gulliver20 / Shutterstock

Feeling a bit distant from your neighbors these days? Rather than getting tangled up in the behemoth known as Facebook, some people have turned to neighborhood apps like Nextdoor to replace their block parties.

On Nextdoor, you can sell your old television, ask for advice on where to find great holiday deals or report a wily coyote roaming around the area.

Nextdoor says the app now includes 250,000 neighborhoods, spanning 11 countries.

The company is targeting a valuation between $4 and $5 billion (USD), according to Bloomberg.

5. GitLab

Developing programmer Team Development Website design and coding technologies working in software company office
Joyseulay / Shutterstock

GitLab, a site that helps developers share and manage code, had IPO aspirations as far back as 2017.

It had recently planned to go public in November 2020, before postponing the date after the COVID-19 pandemic began sinking the economy.

GitLab co-founder and CEO Sid Sijbrandij told CNBC during the summer that “we will go out when we and the markets are ready.”

The company is letting some employees sell a portion of their equity in an offering that values GitLab at more than $6 billion (USD), CNBC reports.

6. Stripe

mobile payment ,online shopping concept
Paisit Teeraphatsakool / Shutterstock

Yet another trend that’s benefited from the pandemic: digital payments.

Online shopping is more popular than ever, especially when you can get cash-back rewards on every digital purchase. Stripe, a payment processing platform, is positioned to reach new heights as the shift in consumer behavior continues.

Stripe helps companies big and small accept digital transactions — and big companies are certainly represented. Stripe powers the transactions of heavyweights like Amazon, Lyft, Instacart and Pinterest.

Bloomberg reports that the fintech company is considering another round of funding that would boost its valuation to $70 billion or even $100 billion (USD).

Stripe has consistently denied that it’s planning an IPO, but that hasn’t stopped eager investors from raising their expectations with every major development.

7. Squarespace

businessman using laptop computer sitting working office.
Yuganov Konstantin / Shutterstock

Ever explored the idea of making your own website? Even if you haven’t, you’ve probably seen ads for Squarespace, which allows you to design and host a site without worrying about all that pesky coding.

The company is pursuing an IPO in the first half of 2021, according to Bloomberg. It was valued at $1.7 billion (USD) back in 2017 and is looking to exceed that in an IPO.

Several of Squarespace’s chief rivals are already publicly traded, including Wix.com and GoDaddy.

8. Coursera

Young student watching lesson online
Rido / Shutterstock

Unlike some of its competitors in the online education space, Coursera doesn’t just offer casual classes to boost your knowledge. The platform works with more than 200 universities and companies to offer professional certification and even degree programs.

Online learning was already trending up before the pandemic hit. Now, even more North Americans are using the internet to pivot to stable, lucrative careers. In November, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo launched a free online learning platform — powered by Coursera — to help unemployed and underemployed New Yorkers advance their job prospects.

Coursera is considering an IPO that would give it a valuation close to $5 billion (USD), Bloomberg reports.

How do I invest in an IPO?

Happy young businessman in suit looking at laptop excited
fizkes / Shutterstock

Who doesn’t love a good launch party? With a bunch of exciting companies looking to go public in 2021, now might be the time to finally get in on the action. While it's easy to get swept up in the excitement, it's often best to wait a few days (even weeks) before jumping in with a position.

You can take advantage of fee-free trades through Wealthsimple Trade to scoop up some shares — and if you want to invest but aren’t sure about picking individual stocks, you can always try out a robo-advisor.

Robo-advisors like Wealthsimple automatically build a diversified portfolio out of ETFs — and if you go for a growth, 100% stock, portfolio your ETF holdings may very well let you grab a piece of these hot IPOs. There’s no minimum amount required to get started, so you can invest whatever you’re comfortable with and go from there.

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About the Author

Ethan Rotberg

Ethan Rotberg

Former Reporter

Ethan Rotberg was formerly a staff reporter at MoneyWise, based in Toronto. His background includes nearly 15 years as a writer, editor, designer and communications professional. His work has appeared in the Toronto Star, CPA Canada and Metro, among others.

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