Continuing our series of interviews with leading technology luminaries, The Exchange recently caught up with Visionary Founder/CEO at Large Unicorn as its IPO priced and began to trade this week.
After a rapid-fire series of S-1 filings, Large Unicorn priced above its own expectations, raising more capital than it had likely anticipated during the lead-up to its public offering.
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Our first read that Large Unicorn’s IPO pricing saga indicated strong public market interest for its equity was born out when it began to trade this morning, with its shares appreciating sharply in early trading. Regular commentary regarding the value, lack of importance, or sheer perniciousness of IPO pops was alight on Twitter, of course.
To better understand the company’s IPO and the path Visionary Founder/CEO took to the public markets, we got them on the blower. What follows is a loosely edited transcript of our call, condensed modestly for readability.
Let’s have some fun!
The Exchange: Kicking off, your company priced above expectations. What can you tell us about the current appetite for high-growth, unprofitable technology shares among public-market investors?
Visionary Founder/CEO: Hey, thanks Alex. Yeah, we were impressed with how sophisticated the market was. People really seemed to get Large Unicorn’s growth story, and how massive our market is. You know, with folks in Industry X and Industry Y really turning into digitally accelerated front-line leaders as opposed to the old labor model, we really do feel like public-market investors see the long haul. We’re building for the next 1,723 years over here at Large Unicorn.
The Exchange: Got it, got it. One thing everyone noticed was that after pricing at $XX per share, you opened at $XXX per share. Did Large Unicorn leave money on the table?
Visionary Founder/CEO: Yeah, great question. [pause, sound of paper shuffling] Look, an IPO is not the finish line; it’s really just another chapter in our longer journey. A milestone. So, I’m not looking at the share price today. And I’ll tell you what I told the company earlier this week: It’s business as usual.
The Exchange: But you don’t feel like your company was underpriced? You aren’t irked that you could have raised more capital at what appears to be the market-clearing price?
Visionary Founder/CEO: The company is well-capitalized now, and we’re looking ahead. And I’ll tell you, Alex, that we got the investors we wanted. I’m talking about long-term holders of our stock. But really, it’s all about the next 17 decades, not the next quarterly earnings report.
The Exchange: OK. You raised a lot more capital than you probably intended to, post-IPO pricing issues aside. So what does the extended balance sheet unlock for the company?
Visionary Founder/CEO: Yeah, Alex, listen, our market is 78 quadrillion dollars, and our current run rate is 78 cents, or less than a dollar per year, so we’re going to go out there and bring Large Unicorn’s key business-empowering services to more folks. We’re going to unlock the potential of the power, the power of potentiality, and, potentially, power itself. Businesses will be accelerated, and if you recall the first time we spoke, I told you that [inaudible] and how that would [inaudible] Mars [inaudible] EBITDA [inaudible].
The Exchange: Hey, I lost you there for a moment — are you on a landline or cell phone? Want me to call you directly?
Visionary Founder/CEO: Hang on, I’m actually inside the Nasdaq right now. Let me see if anyone knows how to work this phone. [inaudible] Is that better?
The Exchange: No?
The Exchange: Let’s just work through it. Back to the point of being well-capitalized, are you looking to make any acquisitions with the new cash? Your shares are also attractively priced, so you have quite a lot of firepower at your disposal.
Visionary Founder/CEO: Yeah, Alex, we’re always looking at the market. And if we see something that we like, we may buy it.
The Exchange: But no immediate plans?
Visionary Founder/CEO: We are always looking at the market.
The Exchange: Big companies? Small startups? Idea-stage founders looking at later induction into YC? NFTs? Vintage Amon Amarth vinyl?
Visionary Founder/CEO We are always looking at the market.
The Exchange: OK. We only have a few more minutes, so I want to bring up the so-called digital transformation and how it may be impacting the company. What portion of revenue growth that Large Unicorn posted in H1 2021 was attributable to secular tailwinds?
Visionary Founder/CEO: Yeah, Alex, great question. [pause, sound of taps on phone screen] I’d say that it’s hard to segment that out precisely.
The Exchange: All right, one last query before I let you go. On page 317 of your last S-1/A filing, it appears that Large Unicorn removes churned customers from its net retention calculations. What’s the impetus for juicing that metric?
Visionary Founder/CEO: Well —
Comms lead: Hey, Alex, sorry to interrupt, but we’re out of time and have to get Visionary Founder/CEO to CNBC. I’ll follow up via email.