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4 Companies Positioned to Go Public in 2014

4 companies positioned to go public

According to Renaissance Capital, 222 companies made their initial public offering in 2013. In all, they raised $55 billion, representing the best year for U.S. based IPOs in over a decade. Heath care and technology based IPOs like FireEye were prolific, but the group also included companies like Zulily, the popular online daily deal site that targets moms.

Hands down, 2013 was an exciting year for IPOs, and all indicators lead us to believe 2014 will be equally, if not more, dynamic.

Curious what companies might go public in the coming year? Here are our top four picks.

1. Box

Launched in 2005, Box is an online file sharing and cloud storage service for personal and business use with a focus on the enterprise market. It’s valued at about $2 billion.

Box offers four plans, Personal, Starter, Business and Enterprise. Plans range from free to $35.00 per user per month and offer storage that starts at 10 GB. At the Enterprise level, storage is unlimited. Box boasts over 15 million users.

Box initially received angel capital in 2005, and has grown rapidly ever since. Bets are 2014 is the year it goes public. According to Mashable, Box leadership is preparing for its public debut by holding mock earnings calls. At the end of each quarter, Box holds an atypical lunch meeting where employees ask Box leaders pointed questions about the health and direction of the company. To ensure the hardest hitting questions are voiced, employees are “planted” with questions that come directly from industry analysts.

With a focus on the enterprise market and international growth plans, we’re convinced that Box will continue to earn market share in 2014. When it does go public, it will do so with a bang.
Box app

2. King

Have you played the most popular game on Facebook, Candy Crush Saga? Then you’re already familiar with Midasplayer. Often referred to as King, the name of the website where its games are found, the London based company publishes online and mobile games. And they are unimaginably popular. In fact, according to the interactive entertainment company’s website, an average of 92 million daily active users play a King game more than one billion times per day. Impressed? So were we.

Launched in the summer of 2003, Midasplayer has positioned itself at the head of the pack among online gaming companies. It’s no surprise that rumors are flying about King’s public debut in 2014. A few months ago, Forbes revealed that Midasplayer filed pre-IPO “S-1” paperwork which keeps details about the company’s impending IPO hush hush. Financial details don’t have to be released until 21 days prior to the IPO, but you can bet we’ll hear more about Midasplayer’s public plans long before then.
King games

3. Shazam

It’s not new, but few services remain as fun and easy to use as Shazam. The music discovery tool uses your phone’s built-in microphone to capture a sample of the music you’re listening to and then presents you with information such as the artist’s name and song title.

Shazam traces its history to 1999, when it was started by Chris Barton, Philip Inghelbrecht, Avery Wang and Dhiraj Mukherjee. In 2013, Carlos Slim, well respected business guru and investor, infused Shazam with more than $40 million for an undisclosed share in the company. Rich Riley took the reins as CEO last April, partially to prep the company for public unveiling. In a conversation with Mashable, Riley hinted that Shazam’s public offering may come as soon as this summer. In anticipation of the event, Riley has prioritized setting quarterly goals.

The Shazam website states the service enjoys more than 80 million monthly active users and has driven more than $300 million in the sale of digital goods over the last 12 months.
Shazam App

4. Square

Square, the popular mobile payments company cofounded by Jack Dorsey of Twitter fame, could be on the verge of an IPO.

With a focus on ensuring a Square is indisputably financially sound before going public, Mashable reports Dorsey as saying, “Eventually we’ll get there.” Founded in 2009, the San Francisco based company has gained a massive following, and raised substantial capital. According to a Square press release, the company closed a Series D round of funding that included investors, like Citi Ventures and Starbucks Coffee Company.

Just last week, Square announced a partnership with Griffin Technology to produce the first protective case optimized for a Square Reader. Designed especially with mobile merchants in mind, we’re sure the custom-molded Merchant Case is just the first of Square’s many exciting announcements in 2014.
square app
There’s no denying that 2013 was a fascinating year for IPOs, and we’re sure 2014 will serve up even more captivating public offerings. Which of our featured companies do you think will be the first to go public in 2014?

Alexia Chianis

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