Private Market Update: January 2021
February 3, 2021

Private Market Update: January 2021

Forge Team

The end of 2020 set us up for what will surely be an interesting start to the year for the private markets. Here’s what happened (or didn’t happen) in December as well as the trends emerging in the private markets heading into the new year.

Growing tech unicorn pipeline

The pipeline for tech unicorn IPOs continues to grow as the birth rate of new unicorns continues to far outpace exits, and while tech companies continue to perform well on the public markets.

Both online gaming platform Roblox and fintech firm Affirm delayed offerings in December as the companies pursued alternative listing options to help them maximize pricing (we explain some of those alternatives here), though a bursting exit pipeline has already seen Affirm, which debuted Jan. 13, pop 100% on its first day.

A December flurry, more exits anticipated in 2021

Investors flocked to the Forge marketplace last month, registering December as the busiest month of the year in terms of interest placed on the platform – and outpacing September’s previous record high by 75%. That was the month we saw public offerings from five of seven top unicorns on our watchlist.

The continued performance of technology companies on the public markets is likely driving the record interest in late-stage private tech companies as investors look for early access to one of the best-performing asset classes. Robot process automation software provider Automation Anywhere and trading platform Robinhood were the most sought-after companies on the Forge platform last month. A surge of interest in Robinhood corresponded with reports that the stock-trading app was starting conversations with underwriters for a potential 2021 IPO.

2020’s total VC funding hit record high

With venture capitalists pumping ~$9.7B into the U.S. private markets in December alone, total funding for the year hit $113.9B (Pitchbook). This makes 2020 the most active year in the U.S. private market in terms of both total funding and number of deals in the last four years, surpassing 2018’s record highs.

Effects of the pandemic played a large role in this, of course, with fintech, business productivity and healthcare sectors experiencing a spike in demand and influencing funding trends throughout the year.

PLEASE READ THESE IMPORTANT LEGAL NOTICES & DISCLOSURES

The information and material presented in this article is provided for your informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer by Forge Global, Inc. Forge Securities LLC or any of its affiliates (collectively, "Forge") to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities and may not be used or relied upon in connection with any offer or sale of securities. An offer or solicitation can be made only through the delivery of final offering document(s) and purchase agreement and will be subject to the terms and conditions and risks delivered in such documents.

This article does not constitute an offer to provide investment advice or service. Registered representatives of Forge Securities LLC do not (1) advise any member on the merits or prudence of a particular investment or transaction, or (2) assist in the determination of fair value of any security or investment, or (3) provide legal, tax, or transactional advisory services. Securities referenced in this article may be offered by Forge Securities LLC, member FINRA/SIPC.

Forge Securities LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Forge Global, Inc. Certain affiliates may act as principals in such transactions.

Investing in private company securities is not suitable for all investors. An investment in private company securities is highly speculative, involving a high degree of risk, and investors should be prepared to withstand a total loss of your investment. Private company securities are also highly illiquid and there is no guarantee that a market will develop for such securities. Each investment also carries its own specific risks and investors should conduct their own, independent due diligence regarding the investment, including obtaining additional information about the company, opinions, financial projections and legal or investment advice. Accordingly, investing in private company securities is appropriate only for those investors who can tolerate a high degree of risk and do not require a liquid investment.

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PLEASE READ THESE IMPORTANT LEGAL NOTICES & DISCLOSURES

The information and material presented in this article is provided for your informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer by Forge Global, Inc. Forge Securities LLC or any of its affiliates (collectively, "Forge") to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities and may not be used or relied upon in connection with any offer or sale of securities. An offer or solicitation can be made only through the delivery of final offering document(s) and purchase agreement and will be subject to the terms and conditions and risks delivered in such documents.

This article does not constitute an offer to provide investment advice or service. Registered representatives of Forge Securities LLC do not (1) advise any member on the merits or prudence of a particular investment or transaction, or (2) assist in the determination of fair value of any security or investment, or (3) provide legal, tax, or transactional advisory services. Securities referenced in this article may be offered by Forge Securities LLC, member FINRA/SIPC.

Forge Securities LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Forge Global, Inc. Certain affiliates may act as principals in such transactions.

Investing in private company securities is not suitable for all investors. An investment in private company securities is highly speculative, involving a high degree of risk, and investors should be prepared to withstand a total loss of your investment. Private company securities are also highly illiquid and there is no guarantee that a market will develop for such securities. Each investment also carries its own specific risks and investors should conduct their own, independent due diligence regarding the investment, including obtaining additional information about the company, opinions, financial projections and legal or investment advice. Accordingly, investing in private company securities is appropriate only for those investors who can tolerate a high degree of risk and do not require a liquid investment.