Tech companies had traditionally stayed away from America’s publicly traded stock markets. But for the past decade, there has been a shift in this trend.
Tech companies have been going public more actively over the past year. Imminent IPOs are reportedly planned for Dropbox and Uber’s great rival Lyft. These names follow Spotify (check out Audius), which listed but offered no new shares and raised no money, instead simply beginning to trade its current shares.
Earlier, tech companies were scared off by all the bureaucracy and public reporting requirements of IPOs, however, the recent juicy valuations from the skyrocketing stock markets has lured more and more tech ventures to dive into this route.
Although, IPOs are not the only way to get a good valuation from the public. ICOs are the recent trend. Instant messaging and VoIP service providers are a notable example.
Telegram set the standard with the introduction of the “TON” blockchain, a decentralized infrastructure with the intended goal of disrupting global communication. After the masterminds behind Telegram collected over $1.7 billion from private individuals alone, it canceled the public portion of its ICO. It is important to note here that the median deal size of an IPO in the United States reached only $100M was reported in 2014.
Clearly, for Telegram, ICO was a better option than IPO. The Telegram team found that by building its own blockchain and issuing a token, it could create more opportunities than simply bringing its company to public shareholders.
Uber’s case for an Initial Coin Offering (ICO Token)
Built on the idea that you should be able to utilize ridesharing no matter where you are in the world, a decentralized token seems to fit Uber’s philosophy perfectly.
An ICO would, in theory, allow Uber to run its own ecosystem of tokens, which it could then enable in any way it chooses (from discounted ride payments, equity in the form of a security token, and so on). Uber is one of the only companies with both the capital and the global user-base to make a security token efficient through billions of daily transactions, and in short, not be a total flop.
Those who think that the idea of Uber launching its ICO is too far-fetched, have to consider that Uber’s co-founder Garrett Camp has even created his own cryptocurrency called “Eco”. What’s interesting is that the token’s real use-case is still being kept a secret.