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The 10 Largest U.S. Tech IPOs in History

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Largest Tech IPOs

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The Briefing

  • The IPOs of Airbnb, DoorDash, and Snowflake raised over $3 billion each
  • This secures their spot among the 10 largest U.S. tech IPOs in history

U.S. Tech IPOs: Three Stocks from 2020 Break into the Top Ten

2020 was an eventful year for IPOs despite the economic hardships caused by COVID-19. Over $300 billion was raised in U.S. equity markets, with companies from the tech sector generating a significant amount of hype.

Among these companies were Airbnb, DoorDash, and Snowflake, all of which raised over $3 billion. To put this into perspective, let’s look at the 10 biggest U.S. tech IPOs of all time.

The Top 10 U.S. Tech IPOs

Airbnb, DoorDash, and Snowflake muscled their way into the top 10, raising a combined $10.3 billion dollars in the second half of 2020.

RankCompanyIPO DateAmount Raised (USD billions)
1FacebookMay 2012$16.0
2UberMay 2019$8.1
3Agere SystemsMarch 2001$4.1
4SnapMarch 2017$3.9
5AirbnbDecember 2020$3.5
6SnowflakeSeptember 2020$3.4
7DoorDashDecember 2020$3.4
8LyftMarch 2019$2.6
9Altice USAJune 2017$2.2
10TwitterNovember 2013$2.1

Not adjusted for inflation.

More than eight years after going public, Facebook maintains a sizable lead over industry peers. The $16.0 billion IPO by the social networking company is also the second largest in U.S. business history, falling only shy of the $17.9 billion raised by Visa in March 2008.

The Airbnb IPO

Airbnb is an online vacation marketplace that connects vacationers with “hosts” who offer accommodations for short-term booking. Since its creation in 2008, Airbnb has grown in size and influence, disrupting the hotel industry in the process.

Airbnb’s IPO raised $3.5 billion by selling 51.5 million Class A shares at $68 each. Airbnb shares closed 112% higher after their first day of trading on December 10, a sign of strong investor optimism.

The Snowflake IPO

Snowflake is a data-warehousing company that provides its customers with cloud-based data storage services. Noteworthy clients of Snowflake include CapitalOne, Logitech, and the University of Notre Dame.

Snowflake’s IPO raised $3.4 billion by selling 28 million Class A shares at $120 each. Similar to Airbnb, shares of Snowflake made an impressive climb on their first day of trading, even surpassing the $300 mark. With this achievement, Snowflake became the largest company to double its market cap on opening day.

The DoorDash IPO

DoorDash is a food delivery platform similar in concept to Uber Eats and Grubhub. The business was well-positioned to take advantage of COVID-19 lockdowns which had led to a surge in food delivery orders.

DoorDash’s IPO raised $3.4 billion by selling roughly 33 million Class A shares at $102 each. Like its peers, DoorDash rose on its first day of trading, closing at $189.51 a share.

Investor Optimism Outweighs Traditional Thinking

A common factor among each of these tech IPOs is that none of the companies have turned a profit. This has drawn criticism from members of the investment industry, especially regarding DoorDash’s IPO.

This is Silicon Valley selling public markets an asset at a huge premium…and I think a lot of individual investors rushing into this are going to lose a lot of money.

—David Trainer, CEO, New Constructs

Regardless, DoorDash investors remain bullish. As of February 3, 2021, the company’s shares have climbed 27% year to date (YTD).

»If you found this article interesting, you might enjoy this post on the world’s largest IPOs.

Where does this data come from?

Source: FactSet, Nasdaq
Details: Retrieved on Jan. 26, 2020. Not adjusted for inflation.

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U.S. Military Spending vs Other Top Countries

The U.S. is well known for its enormous defense budget, but how does it compare to the rest of the world’s military spending?

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The Briefing

  • U.S. military spending surpassed $778 billion in 2020.
  • The U.S. spends more on its military than the next nine highest spending countries combined.

U.S. Military Spending vs Other Top Countries

The U.S. is well known for its immense military and defense spending. In 2020, the nation ranked #1 in the world in terms of military spending at $778 billion outpacing the next nine highest spenders, which came out to $703.6 billion combined.

One factor is the military–industrial complex (MIC) which feeds into the U.S.’ defense dominance, with a longstanding tradition of the defense and weapons industries working closely with the U.S. government and armed forces.

A Breakdown of U.S. Military Spending

So what are these billions being spent on?

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) laid out the spending plan when they made their 2020 budget proposal. It included a few main areas to invest in, including:

  • Air – $57.7 billion
  • Maritime – $34.7 billion
  • Ground systems – $14.6 billion
  • Space – $14.1 billion
  • Cyber – $6.9 billion

This is just the tip of the iceberg. The overall goal of the 2020 budget was to promote innovation and to strengthen competitive advantages to increase the military’s ‘readiness’ factor. Additionally, in an effort to sustain forces, a military pay raise of 3.1% was included.

Military Maintenance

Surprisingly, however, the U.S. actually does not have the largest military in the world in terms of personnel, and some of the other top 10 countries have larger or similarly sized militaries spread across different branches.

CountryActive MilitaryReserve MilitaryParamilitaryTotal Military
🇷🇺 Russia1,013,6282,572,5002,310,8595,896,987
🇺🇸 United States1,374,699845,0002,918,1615,137,860
🇮🇳 India1,440,0002,096,0001,585,9505,121,950
🇰🇷 South Korea599,0003,100,000900,0004,599,000
🇨🇳 China2,035,000510,0001,500,0004,045,000
🇫🇷 France202,70072,300103,400378,400
🇯🇵 Japan247,15056,00013,740316,890
🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia227,000024,500251,500
🇬🇧 United Kingdom150,25082,6500232,900
🇩🇪 Germany178,60027,900500207,000

Russia is only the fourth highest spender, but they have the largest military size of any of the top 10, at around 5.9 million personnel.

All of these countries have militaries that number in the hundreds of thousands to millions, and many are a part of treaties and alliances that require them to upkeep their armies and weaponry — but none spend half as much as the U.S.

To this day, the U.S. is actively involved in a number of overseas conflicts and maintains a large military force with millions of personnel. Spending on areas such as weaponry and wages is significant in order to maintain jobs, as well as national defense.

Where does this data come from?

Source: SIPRI.

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Tax-to-GDP Ratio: Comparing Tax Systems Around the World

Using the tax-to-GDP ratio, we compare the tax systems of 35 OECD countries. See which nations have the highest and lowest rates.

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The Briefing

  • The tax-to-GDP ratio measures a country’s tax revenue, relative to the size of its economy (measured by its Gross Domestic Product, or GDP)
  • A higher tax-to-GDP ratio means more money is going to government coffers, and in theory, public services like education and infrastructure
  • Out of 35 OECD countries, Denmark has the highest tax-to-GDP ratio at 46.3%, while Mexico ranks last at 16.5%

Tax-to-GDP Ratio: Comparing Tax Systems Around the World

Taxes are an important source of revenue for most countries. In fact, taxes provide around 50% or more of government funds in almost every country in the world.

How does each country’s tax system compare to one another? This question is tricky to answer. Since countries’ populations and economies differ greatly, measuring total tax revenue is not the best way to compare international tax systems.

Instead, using a tax-to-GDP ratio is one of the more useful ways to compare tax systems around the world.

What is the Tax-to-GDP Ratio?

The tax-to-GDP ratio compares a country’s tax revenue to the size of its economy, which in this case is measured by its GDP.

The higher the ratio, the higher the proportion of money that goes to government coffers. If managed effectively, this can support the long-term health and prosperity of an economy. According to research conducted by the International Monetary Fund, countries should have a tax-to-GDP ratio of at least 12% in order to experience accelerated economic growth.

The countries that are part of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) all meet that threshold, with an average tax-to-GDP ratio of 33.8%.

Ranked: The Tax-to-GDP Ratios of OECD countries

The dataset used for this graphic looks at 35 of the 37 OECD countries, since recent data for Australia and Japan was not available.

RankCountryTax Revenue as % of GDP
1🇩🇰 Denmark46.3%
2🇫🇷 France45.4%
3🇧🇪 Belgium42.9%
4🇸🇪 Sweden42.9%
5🇦🇹 Austria42.4%
6🇮🇹 Italy42.4%
7🇫🇮 Finland42.2%
8🇳🇴 Norway39.9%
9🇳🇱 Netherlands39.3%
10🇱🇺 Luxembourg39.2%
11🇩🇪 Germany38.8%
12🇬🇷 Greece38.7%
13🇸🇮 Slovenia37.7%
14🇮🇸 Iceland36.1%
15🇭🇺 Hungary35.8%
16🇵🇱 Poland35.4%
17🇨🇿 Czech Republic34.9%
18🇵🇹 Portugal34.8%
19🇸🇰 Slovak Republic34.7%
20🇪🇸 Spain34.6%
21🇨🇦 Canada33.5%
22🇪🇪 Estonia33.1%
23🇬🇧 United Kingdom33.0%
24🇳🇿 New Zealand32.3%
25🇱🇻 Latvia31.2%
26🇮🇱 Israel30.5%
27🇱🇹 Lithuania30.3%
28🇨🇭 Switzerland28.5%
29🇰🇷 South Korea27.4%
30🇺🇸 United States24.5%
31🇹🇷 Turkey23.1%
32🇮🇪 Ireland22.7%
33🇨🇱 Chile20.7%
34🇨🇴 Colombia19.7%
35🇲🇽 Mexico16.5%
OECD Average33.8%

At 46.3%, Denmark has the highest ratio on the list. The country puts its relatively high tax revenue to use, particularly when it comes to subsidizing post-secondary education—in Denmark, university is free for all EU citizens.

On the less-taxed end of the spectrum, the U.S. ranks 30 out of 35, with a ratio of 24.5%—that’s notably lower than the OECD average of 33.8%. It’s also worth mentioning that the U.S. has one of the highest GDP per capita measures out of all OECD countries.

Where does America’s tax revenue come from? It gains most of its revenue from the personal income tax. In fact, 41% of the country’s total tax revenue comes from taxes on personal income, as well as individual profits and gains—for context, the OECD average is 24%.

With President Biden’s recent announcement to increase corporate taxes and personal investment gains, America’s ratio could look a lot different in the near future.

>>Like this? You might find this article interesting, Unequal State Tax Burdens Across America

Where does this data come from?

Source: OECD
Details: This source uses 2019 provisional data to calculate each country’s tax-to-GDP ratio. For more information on methodology, read the full report by clicking here.

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