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US IPO Week Ahead: Software, consumer products, and payment tech lead a diverse 14 IPO week

September 17, 2021
Week Ahead

Summer may be over, but the IPO market is just heating up as 14 IPOs are slated to raise $5.3 billion in the week ahead. The diverse group includes software, consumer products, payment technology, and more.

The largest deal of the week, Freshworks (FRSH) plans to raise $855 million at a $9.6 billion market cap. The company’s core product is its customer support software, and it also offers IT service management software and a nascent competitor to CRM solutions. While losses are expected to increase with S&M spending, Freshworks has delivered solid growth and 100%+ net dollar-based revenue retention as of 6/30/21.

Canadian consumer products company Knowlton Development (KDC) plans to raise $800 million at a $3.1 billion market cap. Over the past three years, Knowlton has been responsible for co-developing 9,000+ products across a variety of categories, and its products are sold by its brand partners in 70+ countries. Despite using offering proceeds to pay down debt, Knowlton will be leveraged post-IPO.

Restaurant payment processor Toast (TOST) plans to raise $685 million at a $17.9 billion market cap. Toast provides a suite of integrated payment and software solutions that are designed to streamline restaurant operations. The company grew ARR over 100% in the 1H21, though it has historically been unprofitable, and growth could slow as tailwinds from restaurants reopening abate.

Global money transfer firm Remitly Global (RELY) plans to raise $487 million at a $7.5 billion market cap. Remitly provides digital financial services for immigrants and their families in over 135 countries, and it has expanded its core cross-border remittance product to over 1,700 corridors worldwide. The company has demonstrated growth and margin improvement, though it remains unprofitable.

Software firm Clearwater Analytics (CWAN) plans to raise $450 million at a $3.7 billion market cap. Clearwater provides its 1,000+ clients with cloud-native software that allows them to simplify their investment accounting operations, and the company has a 100% recurring revenue model. A new investor and certain existing shareholders intend to purchase $150 million worth of shares in the IPO.

Food company Sovos Brands (SOVO) plans to raise $350 million at a $1.5 billion market cap. Formed by Advent International, Sovos Brands offers a select group of acquired premium food brands. According to the company, its largest brand of products, Rao's, included the #1 selling SKU in the pasta and pizza sauce category. Profitable with solid growth, Sovos will be leveraged post-IPO.

Customer engagement software provider EngageSmart (ESMT) plans to raise $349 million at a $4.1 billion market cap. The company provides software that simplifies online workflows like paperless billing, electronic payment processing, scheduling, and client communication. While growth may slow post-pandemic, EngageSmart has a sticky customer based and a long track record of profitability.

Hiring solutions provider Sterling Check (STER) plans to raise $300 million at a $2.1 billion market cap. Sterling is one of the leading US providers of background checks for corporate and government customers. The company serves more than 50% of the Fortune 100, often with exclusive contracts, though it operates in a highly competitive market.

Jewelry retailer Brilliant Earth Group (BRLT) plans to raise $250 million at a $1.4 billion. Brilliant Earth is a digital-first jewelry company and a global leader in ethically sourced fine jewelry. The company has sold to consumers in all US states and over 50 countries, and has served over 370,000 customers through its e-commerce platform and 13 showrooms.

Online fashion platform a.k.a. Brands (AKA) plans to raise $250 million at a $2.3 billion market cap. a.k.a. acquires digitally-focused fashion brands oriented toward millennial and Gen Z consumers, starting with its acquisition of Princess Polly in 2018. The company has successfully expanded Princess Polly and has a long runway to grow its brands in the US, but its M&A strategy carries execution risk.

COVID-19 test maker Cue Health (HLTH) plans to raise $200 million at a $2.4 billion market cap. Cue’s first commercially available diagnostic test for use with its Cue Health Monitoring System is its COVID-19 Test Kit, which has been authorized by two EUAs. Cue has five additional Test Kits in late-stage technical development, for which it expects to begin seeking FDA authorization or clearance in the 2H22.

London-listed crypto mining company Argo Blockchain (ARBK) plans to raise $138 million at an $855 million market cap. Argo states that it is a leading blockchain technology company focused on large-scale mining of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Argo has a fleet of more than 21,000 purpose-built computers (mining machines) and can generate more than 1,075 petahash per second.

Personalized supplements seller Thorne Healthtech (THRN) plans to raise $126 million at an $892 million market cap. The company’s vertically integrated brands, Thorne and Onegevity, provide actionable insights and personalized data, products, and services. Profitable with strong growth, Thorne has a base of more than 3 million customers.

Canadian bank VersaBank (VBNK) plans to raise $50 million at a $269 million market cap. VersaBank is a Canadian Schedule I chartered bank and states that it is one of the world's first fully digital financial institutions. As of July 31, 2021, VersaBank had $1.8 billion in assets, $1.6 billion in loans, $1.5 billion in deposits, and $202 million in stockholders' equity.

U.S. IPO Calendar
Deal Size
Market Cap
Price Range
Shares Filed
a.k.a. Brands (AKA)
San Francisco, CA
$17 - $19
Credit Suisse
Operates a portfolio of Millennial and Gen Z online fashion brands.
Freshworks (FRSH)
San Mateo, CA
$28 - $32
Morgan Stanley
JP Morgan
Provides a business SaaS for customer support and IT projects.
Sterling Check (STER)
New York, NY
$20 - $22
JP Morgan
Provides tech-enabled background screening and identity verification services.
Toast (TOST)
Boston, MA
$30 - $33
Morgan Stanley
Provides mobile and digital payment processing and other services for restaurants.
VersaBank (VBNK)
London, Canada
Raymond James
Canadian digital bank.
Argo Blockchain (ARBK)
London, United Kingdom
Blockchain technology company focused on large-scale crypto mining.
Brilliant Earth Group (BRLT)
San Francisco, CA
$14 - $16
JP Morgan
Credit Suisse
Digital-first retailer of ethically sourced fine jewelry.
EngageSmart (ESMT)
Braintree, MA
$23 - $25
JP Morgan
Provides SaaS solutions for invoicing, payments, and health practice management.
Knowlton (KDC)
Longueuil, Canada
$13 - $15
JP Morgan
Canadian maker of home, beauty, and personal care products.
Remitly (RELY)
Seattle, WA
$38 - $42
JP Morgan
Provides a mobile payment service for international money transfers.
Sovos Brands (SOVO)
Louisville, CO
$14 - $16
JP Morgan
Sells premium food brands including Rao's and noosa.
Thorne Healthtech (THRN)
New York, NY
$13 - $15
Offers a suite of personalized dietary supplements.
Clearwater Analytics (CWAN)
Boise, ID
$14 - $16
JP Morgan
Provides cloud-native software for investment accounting and analytics.
Cue Health (HLTH)
San Diego, CA
$15 - $17
Morgan Stanley
Develops and sells molecular home tests for COVID-19 and other diseases.

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IPO Market Snapshot
The Renaissance IPO Indices are market cap weighted baskets of newly public companies. As of 9/16/2021, the Renaissance IPO Index was up 7.8% year-to-date, while the S&P 500 was up 19.1%. Renaissance Capital's IPO ETF (NYSE: IPO) tracks the index, and top ETF holdings include Snowflake (SNOW) and Palantir Technologies (PLTR). The Renaissance International IPO Index was down 14.8% year-to-date, while the ACWX was up 9.5%. Renaissance Capital’s International IPO ETF (NYSE: IPOS) tracks the index, and top ETF holdings include EQT Partners and Smoore International.