Maybe we didn’t deserve any IPOs this year

From one perspective, DoorDash is a bargain today. The same goes for Coinbase, UiPath, AppLovin, Oscar Health, Bumble and Qualtrics.

Indeed, if you pick nearly any 2021 technology IPO and compare its debut price to where it trades today, you will find that the market is offering yesteryear’s standouts at a massive discount. So much of a discount that it’s hard to not wonder if at least part of the reticence of the 2022 IPO market is not predicated on macro conditions, but the more specific — dare we say microeconomic? — awful performance of the public debuts that we saw last year.

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The declines in question are not small, and they are not merely extant when measured from all-time highs. We’re talking bad returns here from the perspective of any time frame.

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Part of the issue is the simple fact that 2021 valuations were higher than what we see today. It is valid to handicap negative outcomes with pertinent fluctuations in the underlying market; that said, we often cannot provide enough handicapping to get anywhere close to eliminating the fact that so very many 2021 tech IPOs were, from a returns perspective, hot garbage once they were floated.

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