As the year 2021 comes to a close, it will go down in the IPO record books for reaching new highs for both the number of newly public companies and money raised from IPOs. Bloomberg reported in November that globally, IPO proceeds topped $600 billion from more than 2,800 companies.
With so much interest in going public this year, Clearwater was proud to be chosen to present at AFP 2021 on the topic “What to Know Before You IPO.” Clearwater’s CFO Jim Cox was joined by Jill Klindt, SVP and CFO at Workiva, and Cameron Hyzer, CFO at ZoomInfo. All three have experience taking companies public with the most recent being Clearwater’s debut on the Nasdaq in September 2021. This panel of strategic finance leaders shared a few things about what they learned as well as advice for others in the same position. We captured more of their insights in our guide 5 Things to Consider Before You IPO.
Here are a few highlights from their discussion.
Companies go public to raise capital to fund their business and fuel growth, but those aren’t the only potential advantages of an IPO.
The presenters discussed how an IPO presents a key branding opportunity: It gets your company’s name out in front of potential clients, and the transparency of being a public company allows your business to position itself as a stable, known company.
Going public can also have advantages for your employees. They can gain equity in the company for the first time and feel a sense of ownership.
The presenters discussed a few things that need to be in place or considered before you file for an IPO.
First, they emphasized the importance of building a strong, experienced team to successfully take the company public. The presenters made key hires that contributed to a successful process.
They also discussed the importance of telling your brand’s story before an IPO to appeal to public company investors. This goes beyond metrics like revenue and EBITA and provides a unique opportunity to establish what sets your business apart.
On the process side of things, companies should establish their documentation process and control environment to prepare for new requirements and increased transparency, ensuring the entire company is on the same page to meet these requirements.
It’s also crucial to have the right software in place for an IPO. The presenters talked about the importance of choosing software solutions that create efficiencies – given the extra workload that comes with going public – and that suits your needs wherever you are in today’s shifting work environment.
Finally, the presenters also shared advice they would give to someone going through the IPO process today. This included keeping a journal of everything you’re doing to remember it all, mapping out workstreams ahead of time, and having celebration points along the way.
Preparing to go public is a lot of work – and it includes important steps that you won’t want to ignore. For more tips, download our guide, 5 Things to Consider Before You IPO.