Indoor exercise startup Peloton is joining the ranks of unicorn darlings going public this year.

The New York-based company announced Wednesday it had filed confidential paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering. While its statement was scant in details, the stationary bike maker is reportedly aiming for an $8 billion valuation, double its valuation from last August. The company recruited Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan Chase to lead its offering, according to Bloomberg.

The year of the unicorn IPO continues going strong. There's still a long list of startups planning to make public market debuts within the next six months, and some others considering it, despite some bumps in the road. Public market investors have not been as generous as their venture counterparts when it comes to companies' valuations--Uber's underwhelming performance is the clearest example yet. IPO companies are also at greater risk of being targeted by shareholder litigation, and data show the conditions might get worse.

Still, this year has seen plenty of startups take the plunge and perform well. Plant-based hamburger maker Beyond Meat and software companies Pinterest, PagerDuty, and Zoom are all trading well above their IPO prices. This week, Uber surpassed its $45 IPO price for the first time since going public, which could signal that the tide is beginning to turn. 

Here are the top 10 IPOs to watch in the second half of the year, listed alphabetically.

Airbnb

Co-founders Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk came up with Airbnb back in 2008 as a way to help pay sky-high San Francisco rents. The company has since turned into a $31 billion hospitality power player worldwide, raising more than $4.4 billion in funding along the way. Last summer the company, which reportedly is profitable, said it expected to be IPO-ready by the end of June 2019. Instead of a traditional IPO, however, it might choose to follow Spotify's lead and do a direct listing, according to Recode. Still, there's a chance the company may wait until next year to hit the public market. Co-founder Blecharczyk recently told Business Insider the company had not yet decided on its timing.

Casper

If the New York City-based direct-to-consumer mattress startup files for an initial public offering this year, it would be the youngest unicorn on this list to do so. While co-founder and CEO Philip Krim is keeping his cards close to the vest, he has also said he's "excited to see the IPO market do so well." Casper has raised about $340 million in funding so far, fetching a $1.1 billion valuation in March. The five-year-old company is already interviewing potential underwriters, according to Reuters.

Cloudflare

Cybersecurity firm Cloudflare also raised a boatload of money--$150 million to be exact-- earlier this year, bringing its total funding to date to more than $330 million. Last October, the 10-year-old San Francisco-based company reportedly tapped Goldman Sachs to lead a 2019 IPO, but its capital infusion in March cast doubt on those plans. Nonetheless the company recently posted a job listing for a director of internal audit, to implement Sarbanes/Oxley compliance processes--a requirement for all public companies--so don't count it out just yet.

Crowdstrike

The Sunnyvale, California-based cybersecurity startup is expected to begin trading on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol "CRWD" next week. Its IPO could fetch more than $487 million, discounting underwriters' fees, after the company upped its price range 30 percent to $28-$30 per share on Thursday. That means Crowdstrike is eyeing a nearly $6 billion valuation at the upper side of its range, which would roughly double its valuation from only a year ago.

Medallia

There have been rumors about an impending Medallia IPO for years, and 2019 might finally be the year the 18-year-old B2B unicorn decides to pull the trigger. Founded in 2001 shortly after the dot-com bubble burst, the San Mateo, California-based company offers a software platform to manage customer feedback. Co-founders Amy Pressman and Borge Hald, who also happen to be married, hired cloud-computing veteran Leslie Stretch as CEO in August 2018. In February the company raised $70 million at a $2.4 billion valuation, and last month, it issued a statement announcing it had filed confidentially with the SEC for an initial public offering.

Palantir

The secretive big data analytics firm co-founded by Peter Thiel is one of the most eagerly anticipated IPOs among investors this year. Led by CEO Alex Karp, the company reportedly made nearly $1 billion in annual revenue and had a $30 million loss last year, Bloomberg reports. VC investors valued the company at $20 billion in 2015, but secondary market transactions have put that number anywhere from $4.4 billion to $14 billion, according to the report. The company reportedly is aiming to go public in the latter half of the year, and job openings suggest Palantir is beefing up its legal team--known internally as "Legal Ninjas"--to help with regulatory filings and securities issues. Insiders, however, told Bloomberg that the company has been dragging its feet and a 2020 IPO seems more likely.

Peloton

Founded in 2012, the indoor cycling startup has raised close to $1 billion in funding to date. Months before the company formally announced it filed paperwork with the SEC, its co-founder and CEO John Foley said a 2019 IPO would "make a lot of sense." Of course, filing paperwork for an IPO does not guarantee a company will go through with it. In 2015, rival SoulCycle filed all the paperwork to go public but never did. The process remained stagnant for three years before the company finally shelved its IPO plans last May.

Postmates

In February, same-day delivery startup Postmates announced it had filed confidential paperwork with the SEC for an IPO. The news came about a month after the San Francisco-based company closed a $100 million round that valued it at $1.85 billion. Last month, the eight-year-old startup posted a job opening seeking an Investor Relations director. Although co-founder and CEO Bastian Lehmann admits the company is still unprofitable, he said it brings revenue "on every delivery on the platform" in an interview last September. "I think [Postmates] is a great American brand that deserves to be public, and we really like 2019," he told CNBC.

Slack

Workplace communications tool Slack is expected to hit the New York Stock Exchange on June 20. Last week, the company updated its S-1 filing to include its first quarter results, posting $134.8 million in revenue, up 66 percent from the same period a year before. It also revealed co-founder and CEO Stewart Butterfield had struck a voting proxy agreement with certain shareholders, including co-founder Cal Henderson. The deal allows Butterfield, who will have an 8.4 percent stake in the company after the offering, to increase his voting power to 17.8 percent. Just like Spotify, and potentially Airbnb, Slack is forgoing the traditional IPO and opting for a direct listing instead. That means the company will not set a share price or raise any money when it starts trading under the ticker symbol "WORK."

The We Company 

The company formerly known as WeWork, which rebranded to The We Company earlier this year, also has filed confidential documents with the SEC for an IPO, according to a statement issued in April. The New York City-based co-working behemoth has raised nearly $13 billion in funding so far, including more than $10 billion from Japanese giant Softbank. It was valued at $47 billion in January.

Published on: Jun 6, 2019