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IPOs on their way to a banner year

Companies that cater to the “new normal” of working and shopping from home are rushing to go public.

It could turn out that 2020 will be the best year for the IPO market in two decades. Newly public companies have piggybacked on the broader stock market, which made a soaring recovery in spring and summer after COVID-19 and the ensuing lockdowns derailed the longest bull run in history.

As investors shifted their focus to equities, private companies searching for funding took notice.

“A lot of companies sitting on the sidelines waiting to go public really used this as an opportunity,” said Lindsey Bell, chief investment strategist at Ally Invest.

Through August, 143 companies went public and brought in more than $50.4 billion in proceeds, the most since 2014. Ally Invest projects up to 206 companies could go public by the end of the year, with proceeds from IPOs hitting $72 billion.

Technology companies have been well represented in the IPO market this year, especially companies that are positioned to take advantage of the shift to working and shopping from home. Snowflake, a cloud-based data company, saw its stock value double from its initial price, making it worth more than $70 billion in its debut. The company is backed by Salesforce and Berkshire Hathaway.

Software company Sumo Logic gained 22% in its debut. Internet-based insurer Lemonade also saw its stock value double in its debut in July.

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