Two popular Unicorn tech companies Airbnb (ABNB) and Doordash (DASH) made historic debuts on the stock market this week. These widely anticipated moves put the companies at the forefront of initial public offerings and marked some of the most valuable tech listings this year. With 129 IPOs filed this year, 19 more than 2019, companies totaled a record $252 billion into the stock market.
Airbnb and Doordash Amid COVID-19
According to Nasdaq, Airbnb and Doordash both saw great success soon after their inception and received copious amounts of capital ahead of going public. Both companies’ stock market debuts come at an interesting time in history. For Doordash, the need for food delivery skyrocketed amid the COVID-19 pandemic, where nationwide quarantine caused Airbnb to lose revenue in 2020.
Airbnb laid off about 25 percent of its employees globally and experienced executive salary cuts amid the pandemic. To compensate for lost capital, the company highlighted “close-to-home stays” to target people who sought a home away from home with travel at a minimum. The company launched the campaign as “Go Near” to encourage domestic travel worldwide.
Doordash, on the other hand, had a very different pandemic experience. According to reports, the delivery company saw a 226 percent increase in sales in the first nine months of 2020 compared to 2019 figures, reaching $1.92 billion. Despite some impressive gains by the corporation as a whole, Doordash drivers have seen little benefit from an uptick in business. In fact, the company faced a tipping scandal for not giving all of the customers’ tips to drivers.
In its stock market debut this week, Doordash sold 33 million shares at $102 apiece after its IPO filing, significantly higher than the $90 to $95 estimate the company set this week. Airbnb also netted out higher than their estimates, selling at $146 per share, which is more than two times the $68 price set for its IPO. IPO filings this year were dominated by the software industry, with these two app-based tech companies forging the path for new billionaires and the future of the industry.