A Wave of Pre-Election IPOs



Car Insurer Root Goes Public

As the US presidential election approaches, many companies are going public this week to get ahead of what could be a volatile stretch for markets. This is typically what happens ahead of big elections. There are no US companies scheduled to begin trading next week, but this week has been a busy one for IPOs.

Root (ROOT), the car insurance startup, began trading yesterday. It offered 24,581,515 shares priced at $22 to $25 each. Shares traded above that range, giving the company a market valuation of about $7 billion, fully diluted. Goldman Sachs (GS), Morgan Stanley (MS), Barclays (BCS), and Wells Fargo (WFC) were underwriters for the deal.

Root is working to disrupt the auto insurance industry with its user-friendly mobile app. The company says people can sign up for Root insurance in as little as 47 seconds and that claims can be processed and paid within 24 hours. The Ohio-based company is active in 30 states and hopes to move into all 50 by early next year.

Insurance Tech Company MediaAlpha Makes its Debut

MediaAlpha (MAX), another insurtech company, also went public yesterday, selling 9.25 million shares at $18 to $20 each. However, the company’s shares ended the day yesterday trading at $12.81. JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Citigroup (C), Credit Suisse (CS), and RBC Capital Markets are underwriters on the deal.

MediaAlpha leverages AI and data science to connect insurance companies to customers via digital advertising. The Los Angeles-based company made $19 million in income on $243 million in revenue for the six months ending on June 30.

Biodesix Lists Amidst Booming Demand for COVID-19 Diagnostic Tools

Biodesix (BDSX), a diagnostics company, also began trading on the Nasdaq yesterday. Biodesix offered 4,166,667 shares at $17 to $19 each. However, at the end of the trading day yesterday, the company’s shares were priced at $31.86. Morgan Stanley and William Blair were among the underwriters for the deal.

Biodesix sells six diagnostic tests, which are mainly focused on lung diseases. The company has also formed partnerships to develop COVID-19 tests. Additionally, Biodesix has created a return-to-work package for companies implementing new COVID-19 testing procedures.


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