Upstart Heads List of Top IPOs Backed by Private Equity or Venture Capital

 Upstart Heads List of Top IPOs Backed by Private Equity or Venture Capital

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The Airbnb logo was shown on the Nasdaq digital billboard in New York’s Times Square in December.


The IPO market in the past year has delivered some strong debuts for growth companies. Many couldn’t have come to market without the help of venture-capital and private-equity firms, and some of those investors have benefited handsomely in turn. 

Venture-capital firms often take part in funding rounds for startups and high growth companies, often amassing sizable stakes. Private equity sometimes invests in those rounds as well, or acquires holdings through other deals. A successful IPO by a portfolio company can unlock huge returns.

Barron’s took a look to see which of the VC or private-equity backed IPOs that went ahead in the past 12 months have done the best. First, we searched for companies that listed via a traditional initial public offering. This meant we filtered out businesses that merged with special-purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs. We did include direct listings, when companies don’t sell shares themselves but instead allow existing stockholders to cash in their positions..

Then, we searched for companies that went public on either the New York Stock Exchange or the Nasdaq. We also focused on entities that had at least a $1 billion market capitalization. We narrowed our search to find the 10 companies with the highest total returns from their stock offering prices. 

Company Name Ticker Symbol Offer Date Offer Price ($) Total Return From Offer Price(%)
Upstart Holdings, Inc. UPST-US 16-Dec-2020 20.00 1,034.05
Palantir Technologies, Inc. PLTR-US 29-Sep-2020 7.25 261.38
Doximity, Inc. DOCS-US 23-Jun-2021 26.00 250.00
dLocal Ltd. (Uruguay) DLO-US 02-Jun-2021 21.00 228.19
Global-e Online Ltd. GLBE-US 12-May-2021 25.00 226.76
TaskUs, Inc. TASK-US 10-Jun-2021 23.00 184.57 Ltd. MNDY-US 10-Jun-2021 155.00 162.25
Snowflake, Inc. SNOW-US 15-Sep-2020 120.00 150.85
Airbnb, Inc. ABNB-US 09-Dec-2020 68.00 130.28
Maravai Lifesciences Holdings, Inc. MRVI-US 20-Nov-2020 27.00 114.78

Source: Factset

Upstart (ticker: UPST), the AI-lending firm, is the best performing IPO that was backed by either VC or private equity, according to FactSet. The startup raised $165 million in funding from investors including Third Point Ventures, Stone Ridge, and Rakuten.

Upstart went public in December, with its shares rising 47%. The stock has soared 714% since then, closing Thursday at $239.80. According to FactSet, Upstart’s total absolute return, including dividends, is 1034.05%.

In second place is

Palantir Technologies

(PLTR), the big-data analytics company co-founded by Peter Thiel, which went public in September using a direct listing. Shares of Palantir rose 31% from its $7.25 reference price during its debut. The stock has jumped 179% to end Thursday at $26.51. Palantir raised $2.6 billion in venture capital, with investors including Founders Fund and 8VC. Palantir’s total return from its offer price, including dividends, is 261.38%. 

Doximity (DOCS), which provides a cloud-based digital platform for doctors, is in third place. The company went public in June. Doximity’s stock has jumped 85% since its debut, closing Thursday at $98.21. Doximity has raised $81.8 million in funding, from investors including Emergence Capital, InterWest Partners, and Morgenthaler Venture Partners. Doximity’s total return from the offer price, including dividends, is 250%, according to FactSet. 

In fourth place is


(DLO), the cross-border payments company that went public in June. It is backed by General Atlantic, a private-equity firm. DLocal’s stock has more than doubled since its debut, ending Thursday at $68.54. The total return is 228.19%, according to FactSet. 

Global-E Online

(GLBE) provides an e-commerce platform that is backed by


(SHOP). It raised $100 million in funding; investors included Red Dot Capital Partners, Apax Partners, and Vitruvian Partners. The company rose just 2% in its May debut but the stock has since tripled in the aftermarket, closing Thursday at $77.55. Global-E ranks fifth on our list with a total return of 226.76%. 


(TASK), a digital outsourcer backed by

Blackstone Group

(BX), is in sixth place. The company went public in June, with shares rising 35%. The stock has gained 119% since then, closing Thursday at $68.20. TaskUs’s total return is 184.57%.

(MNDY) is a provider of work-management software that is backed by Insight Partners, a private-equity firm. Shares of rose 15% during its June debut. The stock has gained another 121% in the aftermarket, ending Thursday at $396.10.’s total return from its offer price is 162.25%, ranking seventh, FactSet data show. 

Snowflake (SNOW), the cloud software company, was valued at nearly $68 billion when it went public in September. The company raised $1.4 billion in venture capital from a group that includes Sutter Hill Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Redpoint Ventures, Iconiq Strategic Partners, and Altimeter Partners. The shares jumped 112% during the first day of trading and have gained nearly 21% since then, trading Thursday at $306.89. Snowflake’s total return from its offer price is 150.85%, placing eighth.

In ninth place is


(ABNB), the home sharing site that went public in December. Airbnb raised $6 billion in funding before its IPO, according to Crunchbase. One of its major backers was Sequoia Capital. Airbnb’s stock rose nearly 143% during its first day of trading. Shares have jumped nearly 9% since then, while the total return from the offer price is 130.28%, according to FactSet.

Maravai Life Sciences

(MRVI) is a provider of products and services that help life-sciences companies develop vaccines, therapies, and diagnostics. It is backed by private-equity firm GTCR. Maravai shares rose nearly 11% during its November debut. The stock has doubled since then, closing Thursday at $60.11. Maravai ranks 10th on our list with a total return of 114.78%, according to FactSet. 

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