VC-backed startups set a high bar for exits in 2014, but a handful of unicorns have the potential to surprise us all again in 2015.

Beating current records is going to be tough. Alibaba holds the trophy for the largest global IPO ever after its much-hyped $22 billion deal last year — the biggest IPO the tech world has seen since Facebook‘s $12 billion public offering in 2012.

And we’re seeing more IPOs than ever before. CrunchBase captured 75 venture-backed tech IPOs in 2014 compared to 50 in 2013. Amount raised also skyrocketed, in part due to Alibaba’s monster deal.

While Alibaba’s investors cashed out, VCs poured even more money into startup giants like Uber, Snapchat, Dropbox and Airbnb, temporarily putting rumors of IPOs on hold. Last year’s boost in monster rounds allowed companies like Uber to continue expanding while generating enough revenue to stay private, but they can’t delay public offerings forever.

So what should we expect for 2015?

Uber, with its $42 billion valuation and nearly $5 billion raised, is the only true contender for an IPO comparable to Alibaba’s.

Snapchat, Dropbox, and Airbnb, however, have the potential to make a big splash this year as well with $10 billion valuations and plenty of venture funding in the bank.

Box raised $175 million in January’s first tech IPO to kick off the year. But we’re still waiting to see who will hit the jackpot in 2015.

Will 2015 be another blockbuster year for IPOs? Who will see the biggest hit?


Cast your vote, then join the conversation at #CBDaily.

  • Originally published February 2, 2015, updated April 26, 2023