Companies That Had Their IPO in 2019: Bull Market and Tech Dominance

1 minutes reading time
Published 3 May 2024
Author: Emil Persson
Reviewed by: Kasper Karlsson

In 2019, the financial markets exhibited robust growth, reversing the subdued trends of the previous year. The year was characterized by a bullish momentum, with major U.S. stock indices pointing upwards. Parallel to the bullish momentum in the stock market, the Initial Public Offering (IPO) landscape also thrived, driven by the positive market environment. Companies were more inclined to go public, culminating in a series of notable IPOs, including the largest-ever public offering conducted. However, all companies that went public in 2019 were also dealt a very tough hand as the COVID-19 pandemic set in the following year.

Key Insights

  • Positive market conditions: The overall mood and performance of the stock market were positive, with major indices posting major gains. This was due to a combination of lowering interest rates and the cooling of a trade war between the U.S. and China.

  • Vibrant IPO landscape: The IPO market was also relatively hot, with several large and prestigious companies going public. Tech dominated, but the most notable IPO of the year was that of Saudi Aramco.

  • Public before the pandemic: Many of the companies that went public during the year faced near-immediate hardship when the pandemic hit in the following year.

The overall stock market conditions of 2019 can only truly be described using one word: bullish. As 2019 rolled over into 2020 major U.S. indices were up significantly, with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq ending the year with a gain of more than 28% and 37% respectively. Part of the reason for the spectacular gains during the year was solely due to the fact that the market was in quite a slump going out of 2018. Major indices had been flat or pointed slightly downwards during the previous year, giving lots of room for expansion during 2019. However, one of the major underlying factors was the monetary policy enacted by the Federal Reserve.

The Federal Reserve played a crucial role in the market's performance. After raising interest rates four times in 2018, the Fed reversed its stance in 2019, cutting rates three times throughout the year. Beyond the United States, other central banks around the world also adopted more accommodative policies, which helped to ease global financial conditions and supported higher asset prices internationally.

Another factor that helped the markets recover from their poor performance during 2018 was the fact that the trade war between the U.S. and China was subsiding somewhat. The incumbent Trump administration had enacted several tough tariffs for Chinese goods, something which was met with similar actions from the CCP. However, negotiations during the year combined with the stoppage of new tariffs and signs that an agreement was drawing closer led to a rebound in the markets.

The IPO Market in 2019

Overall, the IPO market in 2019 was enthusiastic and overall healthy. A trend that has been consistent for just about as long as there have been public companies traded on the stock market is the fact that companies are far more willing and eager to go public when there is positive sentiment. This in turn means that companies overall were positive towards going public in 2019 and there was a large number of notable IPOs conducted during the year, including the largest IPO ever conducted.

Trouble on the Horizon

While 2019 overall was a very positive year with an upward trajectory and not much volatility to speak of on the downside. However, the same can not be said for 2020. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent challenges faced by businesses meant that companies going public in 2019 almost immediately had to face significant challenges. While some struggled with issues that were difficult to overcome, others received significant boosts brought on by the new realities during the pandemic.

The Largest IPO of 2019 - Saudi Aramco

The most notable public listing, and one of the biggest events in the markets during the year, was the IPO of Saudi Aramco. The company is one of the largest in the world and by far the largest oil and gas company globally. This IPO was for being the largest in history, raising over $25 billion and surpassing the previous record held by Alibaba Group's 2014 IPO. The company, which before going public was owned solely by the Saudi Arabian state, initially aimed to go public on a large market such as the NYSE or in London but was unable to do so.

Notable Companies That Went Public in 2019

While Saudi Aramco was by far the largest, there were several other large and notable companies conducting IPOs during 2019. As previously mentioned, tech was a dominant sector in the IPO market during the year, but there was a healthy mix of different types of companies going public.

Lyft & Uber

Rideshares had been increasing in popularity for years leading up to 2019 and the two leading companies in the US at the time, Lyft and Uber, both went public during the year.

Further reading: Dara Khosrowshahi: The Visionary CEO Transforming Uber


Crowdstrike, which provides various cybersecurity services, went public during the summer of 2019.


Another cybersecurity company that went public in 2019 was Cloudflare, which listed its shares on the NYSE.


Zoom, which would rise to massive fame and popularity during the coming pandemic, went public in 2019.


Another company that would rise in popularity during the pandemic was Peloton. The home exercise equipment manufacturer went public in 2019 and saw its stock price surge during the following year, with a sharp downturn beginning during the summer of 2021.


The German biotech giant BioNtech went public in 2019. Despite being based in Germany, the company elected to list its shares on the Nasdaq.

Closing Words

2019 as a year was characterized by positive market conditions, with significant gains in major stock indices buoyed by lower interest rates and easing tensions in the U.S.-China trade war. The IPO landscape of 2019 was vibrant, driven by a favorable market sentiment that encouraged many companies, particularly in the tech sector, to go public. This period of market enthusiasm, however, was short-lived as the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 posed severe challenges for these newly public companies.

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