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How past tech floats fared, and upcoming IPOs in London

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April 03, 2021 at 04:00PM

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Even Facebook and Google had their troubles when they first went public, so Deliveroo’s bad experience is far from unique

Amazon listed on the Nasdaq at $18 a share with a market value of $438m in 1997, when it was just an online bookseller, with 256 employees. The share price rose gradually over the years, but started to rocket in 2015 after the firm posted substantial profits. Three years later, it became the world’s second trillion-dollar company, just weeks after Apple reached that milestone, and Amazon boss Jeff Bezos became the world’s richest man. Amazon is now worth about $1.6tn, with its shares trading at $3,161 last week.

Google’s IPO in August 2004, six years after it was founded by Sergey Brin and Larry Page, valued it at $23bn, well below the $39bn achieved by rival Yahoo. Google had been forced to cut its float price by almost 40% and halve the number of shares being sold when the process was mired in controversy by technical mishaps, an interview with the founders published in Playboy and other IPO rule breaches. Shares in Google, now Alphabet, started trading on Nasdaq at $85 and rose to more than $100 on their first day. They are now worth $2,129, valuing the company at $1.4tn.

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