Why we don’t invest in IPOs
Why? Since investment banks are not subject to lockups, they can earn 2-3x per week by manipulating the offer price. Their strategy is simple: It doesn’t matter what the offer price is, so long as it reaches the level expected by investors by the end of the lockup.
In return for this opportunity to make money, the banks enable venture investors to sell a part of their shares ahead of schedule, since a loophole allows them to partially exit the lockup when the price rises 25% above the IPO price.
And don’t forget that the annual bonuses of top managers are tied to the growth of shares. Thus, investing in IPOs statistically provides little chance of making money.
Recent IPO statistics show that the share price drops significantly right after a company goes public. Indeed, the vast majority of IPOs in 2021 were unprofitable.
Accordingly, at Mindrock Capital, we consider an IPO as one of the crucial points in our investment strategy, but not the target or the final one.
An IPO certainly increases liquidity. But we exit the investment not when the company goes public but when all the elements of the growth strategy we invested in have worked out.