In the three days since it went public, shares in Snapchat’s parent Snap Inc. are up more than 40% from their offering price, which might lead the way for other unicorns, private companies with a valuation of at least $1 billion, to do the same, including Uber, Airbnb, China’s Xiaomi and big data firm Palantir.
The four “dekakorns” are part of a group that also includes WeWork. Pinterest and Elon Musk’s SpaceX. However, for every Facebook or Google that goes public and continues to grow, there are many more examples of IPOs that failed to live up to hype, including Twitter, GoPro, Fitbit, Etsy and Groupon.
On current values, Uber is worth nearly $20 billion more than Ford, and Airbnb’s private valuation makes it worth more than Hyatt, Hilton and InterContinental, and only about $4 billion less than Marriott.
If Snap continues to do well, more giants may file for their own IPOs, but if not, the Ubers and Airbnbs may continue to wait until 2018 or beyond.