Cybersecurity has been a hot topic in 2021. The global cybersecurity market has already reached $202B and is expected to reach $433 billion by 2030. The size and growth of this market have lent to an increase in new cybersecurity companies that have gone public in 2021.
As a result, cybersecurity investing has become an extremely lucrative practice. Let’s take a look at the top 8 cybersecurity IPOs of 2021, in reverse order.
8. WisdomTree Cybersecurity Fund
WisdomTree Cybersecurity Fund debuted in January. It tracks the WisdomTree Team8 Cybersecurity Index. This benchmark monitors companies that are involved in providing cyber security-oriented products.
During the COVID pandemic, Team8 saw an increase in enterprises becoming reliant on their digital infrastructure. Now, more than ever, cybersecurity is important due to increased cyber risk.
UiPath is a company focused on automating business processes. Their IPO in April 2021 highlighted their vision for a fully automated enterprise. Their objective is to integrate across all of the various departments that exist within an enterprise.
UiPath was named a leader with the highest ranking in current offering, strategy, and robotic process automation market presence by the Forrester Wave. As the report indicated, UiPath was a good fit for global enterprises that have demanding needs for support and governance.
When UiPath’s IPO in April 2021, its 23% climb upon debut made it one of the largest US software IPOs in history, the overall IPO brought in approximately $1.34 billion, with sales of 23.9 million shares at $56 per share.
6. Qualtrics International, Inc.
Qualtrics offers a single software platform for enterprises to manage
The organization went public in January 2021 and has gone up 31.2% since 01/18/2021. This IPO took place nearly two years after the $8 billion acquisition of SAP.
At present, Qualtrics is the only public stock in experience management. Experience management software is gaining popularity in today’s business world. As more and more companies move all of their communication to a digital format, it is increasingly important to capture those interactions.
Qualtrics helps organizations study and implement all of those digital interactions. These insights go beyond standard analytics and can also help with product design changes, marketing decisions, research, and more.
As a result, Qualtrics is expected to continue its year-on-year growth. Though it is not the only experience management company, it is near the top of the list. Qualtrics excels with both the comprehensiveness of its platform and the execution of its mission.
5B. Honorable Mention – Palo Alto Networks
Though it was not a 2021 IPO, Palo Alto Networks has seen a rapid increase in its valuation this year. PANW’s IPO date was from July 2012 but is currently outpacing the S&P 500 daily gains. The organization most recently had a Forward P/E ratio of 69.5, which is well above the industry’s average Forward P/E of 44.06.
Palo Alto Network maintains a specialty in firewalls, monitoring and protecting traffic into and out of physical locations. The company has recently started converting its legacy services to cloud-based services. This conversion has seen enormous growth potential.
Palo Alto Network has acquired more than a dozen smaller cloud-native firms over the past few years. This allows them to remain the largest pure-play cybersecurity operation by revenue.
Sharing the space at #5, Amplitude is a cloud company that joined the public market in 2021. As a pioneer in digital optimization, Amplitude has seen steady growth, with revenue up 57% in the first half of 2021.
Amplitude’s initial offering in September 2021 soared from an initial reference price of $35 to open at $50 per share. The stock closed at $54.80 and is chasing a $37 billion opportunity.
Digital optimization, Amplitude’s primary software offering, helps companies maximize their return on investments. Their software can help companies learn why a subscriber might stop subscribing, or what might cause a user to become more engaged.
Though not directly in the cybersecurity industry, Amplitude’s software stands to have significant impacts. Digital optimization must come after digital transformation. As companies continue to build out their tech infrastructure, they will need to rely on companies like Amplitude to ensure seamless operation.
The secure access vendor Appgate went public without an IPO, but it still bears mention. Appgate merged with a publicly traded shell company at a $1 billion valuation. This maneuver allows significant growth acceleration.
Appgate began in January 2020 as a spin-off from data center vendor Cyxtera. The firm is led by Mike Aiello, who had previously spent nearly three years directing product management for Google Cloud Platform Security.
This merger was completed with publicly-traded shell company Newton Lane Marketing. The shell company was led by the New York Islanders co-owner, Jon Ledecky. After the merger, Ledecky joined Appgate’s board.
With this merger and Appgate’s public offering, Appgate was able to intensify its efforts to bring enhanced focus on firm cybersecurity. Appgate strives to “protect enterprise and government information systems from today’s emerging threats.”
KnowBe4 was the first cybersecurity vendor IPO for 2021. This organization is a security awareness training vendor. In 2021, the firm experienced surging sales, diminishing losses, and a rapidly growing channel program.
KnowBe4 has experienced significant growth over the past few years. Their March report to the SEC indicated that sales had jumped to $174.9 million in 2020, up 45% from the prior year and 145.3% from 2018.
Having been founded in 2010, KnowBe4 has since raised $393.4 million in five rounds of funding. Its founder and CEO, Stu Sjouwerman owned 7.9% of the company before the IPO, according to the S-1 filing. Institutional investors hold approximately a 75% stack in the organization.
The firm does expect operating expenses to increase significantly over the next few years. This increase is a result of its planned expansion of operations and infrastructure, both domestically and internationally.
Additionally, KnowBe4 intends to expand both its direct inside sales force and its channel partnerships. Additional growth will focus on increasing sales to large organizations.
SentinelOne, an autonomous cloud-based platform, made history on June 30th as the highest-valued cybersecurity IPO to date. Their product offerings include AI-powered prevention, detection, and response. Security responses include hunting across endpoints, containers, cloud workloads, and IoT devices within a single autonomous XDR platform.
Named Gartner Magic Quadrant’s top endpoint protection platform for 2021, SentinelOne demonstrated strength in
- Current and future market direction
- Customer needs
- Competitive forces
- Mapping of responses to Gartner’s view of the market
Gartner’s report highlighted that SentinelOne customers appreciated the firm’s high-quality customer support, ease of deployment, and adherence to timelines.
In addition to this, SentinelOne also was identified by the MITRE Engenuity ATT&CK evaluation to be the only vendor in 2021 with 100% visibility. This reinforced SentinelOne’s position as the leader in enterprise EDR effectiveness. 100% visibility required zero missed detections and no configuration changes across 174 sub-steps.
SentinelOne’s IPO was initially priced at $35 per share and started trading at $46 per share. They sold 35 million shares, giving them a market capitalization of nearly $11 billion. The prior record-holder was Crowdstrike in 2019.
1. 2021’s Top Cybersecurity IPO – GitLab
Shortly after SentinelOne’s IPO, Gitlab’s IPO lept 23% in their trading debut. Initially planned for November 2020, GitLab’s IPO was postponed due to COVID.
The company’s largest shareholder at present is its co-founder and CEO, Sid Sijbrandij. His stake stands at 19%, according to the prospectus. Sijbrandij founded the company with Dmitriy Zaporozhets in 2011 as a competition for Microsoft’s Github.
GitLab’s primary product is DevOps. The company is best known for offering organizations streamlined software workflow by utilizing a single platform. This allows for software delivery to be faster with better security and collaboration.
DevOps’s platform highlights its comprehensive nature, and that DevOps allows users to visualize and optimize with platform-wide analytics. The software is also seamless as it uses a common set of tools across all teams and lifestyle stages and doesn’t rely on third-party plugins or APIs.
GitLab assures a secure connection for all users by constantly scanning for vulnerabilities and compliance violations with each commit. The platform is fully transparent and compliant. It automatically captures and correlates all actions, from planning to code changes to approvals, which allows for easy traceability during audits or retrospectives.
Last, but not least, DevOps is easy for users to adopt, which heightens their likelihood of growth. Users are able to run DevOps on their choice of infrastructure, providing a larger target market for GitLab.
GitLab shares were initially priced at $77 per share, putting its valuation at approximately $11 billion. However, after its share prices jumped up, it opened at $94.25 per share, occupying a market cap of $13.48 billion.
Time will only tell who the next top cybersecurity companies will be to take GitLab’s record-holding title.
Will You Be Next?
Who should be interested in investing in cybersecurity IPOs? If you are an institutional investor looking to invest in a cybersecurity fund, you should be interested in recent IPOs. If you are an early-stage cybersecurity venture seeking funding from cyber-focused investors, learning about recent IPOs can help you decide where to position yourself for a venture capital fund.
Option3 can help you. We have a technology board made up of former CIOs from:
- Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
- Department of Defense (DoD)
- US CyberCommand
- Merril Lynch
- AOL Time Warner
- Lehman Brothers
- Matrix Investment
- and many others
We possess the expertise of advisors within the United States national security community, Wall Street, and the technology industry. Contact Option3 today, and we will review your cybersecurity investing needs with you.