Companies That Had Their IPO in 1995: The Internet Hype Ramps Up

1 minutes reading time
Published 8 Apr 2024
Author: Emil Persson
Reviewed by: Kasper Karlsson

In 1995, the market sentiment was distinctly positive, buoyed by a confluence of factors that created an environment of optimism among investors, businesses, and the general public. This period was characterized by an enthusiastic embrace of technological advancements, particularly with the commercialization of the internet, which opened up new avenues for business and investment. The optimism was further supported by a stable and growing economy, marked by low inflation, and decreasing unemployment rates.

Key Insights

  • Market sentiment: The general market sentiment in 1995 was one of optimism. The economy was in a period of expansion and the stock market was on an upward trajectory.

  • Interest in internet and tech companies ramps up: While still a far cry from what the late 90s dot-com boom was to offer, the interest and availability of tech and internet companies were ramping up.

  • The founding of iconic tech companies: While the dot-com bubble was just beginning to inflate, several large tech companies were founded in 1995.

  • Diverse sectors: While technology companies captured much of the attention, the IPO market of 1995 was not limited to this sector alone.

A Bullish Market Sentiment

The market sentiment in 1995 was, as previously mentioned, decidedly positive. The issues of the early 90s recession between 1990 and 1991 were well and truly in the past and all major indices were pointing upwards. The emergence of the World Wide Web and the commercialization of the internet sparked excitement about new business models and investment opportunities. This technological boom was a major driver of positive market sentiment, as investors were eager to back companies in the sector. While 1995 and 1996 were a far cry from what was to come in the late 90s (1998 and 1999 in particular), the interest in tech and internet companies was starting to ramp up and garner significant traction.

The Founding of Iconic Internet Companies

Several companies that would later become giants in the tech industry were either founded or came into prominence around 1995. For instance, Amazon was founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994 as an online bookstore and launched its website in 1995. eBay, another tech giant, was founded in 1995. These companies were among the early adopters of the Internet for commercial use, setting examples for countless startups that would follow in their footsteps. While both of these companies are still in operation today, many others that were founded during this time did not manage to make it out of the market mayhem that ensued when the dot-com bubble burst. One of the most striking examples of this is, a social networking and media company, which went live in 1995 and had its IPO in 1998. The company's IPO was hugely successful, but by 2008 the company had ceased operations.

Tech and Internet Companies, The Netscape IPO, and the Start of the Dot-Com Bubble

When looking back at the frenzy of IPOs and general market sentiment during the height of the dot-com boom, many market experts point to the 1995 IPO of Netscape as the start of the bubble inflating. Netscape was one of the first internet browsers available and easily accessible to the general public. It had a dominant market share and was eventually acquired by AOL (now part of Yahoo) in 1995. However, the Netscape internet browser was overtaken by Microsoft's Internet Explorer, and today no services are offered by the company.

In 1995, the landscape of technology and internet companies began to shift significantly, marking a pivotal moment in the evolution of the digital era. Several factors contributed to the increasing interest and development within the technology sector during this time. The development of the World Wide Web by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN in the early 90s had set the stage, and by 1995, the internet was becoming more accessible to the public.

The number of people with access to the internet also started to climb steadily in 1995. This increase in potential online consumers attracted entrepreneurs and businesses to the online space, keen on tapping into the burgeoning market. As more people began to explore the possibilities of the internet, from information sharing to online commerce, the foundation for internet-based companies was solidified. The rising interest in the tech sector was also reflected in the venture capital investments of the time. Investors began to recognize the potential for substantial returns from the technology and internet sectors, leading to an increase in funding for startups with innovative ideas. This influx of capital was crucial in driving the growth and development of early-stage tech companies.

Notable IPOs in 1995

One thing that made the IPO year of 1995 stand out is that there were relatively many large and recognizable companies that went public, many of which are still thriving today. The IPO landscape was diversified, but internet and tech companies going public were starting to become more and more common. The number of companies that went public was starting to ramp up dramatically, something which would continue up until 2000 when the dot-com bubble finally burst.


The flash memory producer SanDisk went public in 1995. Today, it's part of Western Digital after being acquired in 2016.


The massive German science and technology company Merck KGaA went public on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in 1995.

The Estée Lauder Companies

The beauty conglomerate Estée Lauder Companies initiated and completed a public offering in 1995.

Further reading: Estée Lauder: The Beauty of Strategic Acquisitions


The legendary sports equipment and apparel manufacturer Adidas had its IPO in 1995. Its arch-rival Puma on the other hand went public in 1986.

Pool Corporation

Pool Corporation, or POOLCORP as it is more commonly referred to, completed its IPO in 1995.

Life Storage

One of the largest self-storage companies in the U.S. Life Storage, had its IPO in 1995.

Dollar Tree

The American low-cost retail chain Dollar Tree had its IPO in 1995 and today operates over 15,000 stores across the U.S. and Canada.

Closing Thoughts

When looking back at the IPO landscape and general market sentiment in 1995, it's difficult to see anything but optimism and blue skies. While the interest in tech and internet companies still had a lot of runway left until it reached its boiling point, the first signs of the dot-com bubble were starting to rear its head.

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