Indication of Interest

If an investor is interested in buying an IPO, he or she will give the lead manager an order for a specific amount of stock. Since most IPOs are oversubscribed, indications of interest are usually for several times what the investor really wants. On some deals, the valuation of the IPO may be an issue. In this case an investor gives a limit order for the IPO. For example, the investor might say, "I'm in up to $15", meaning they will take shares if they are priced at $15 or less.

Initial Coin Offering (ICO)

These highly speculative and mostly unregulated offerings raise fresh capital for programmers promising to build a cryptocurrency-based business. Unlike IPOs, buyers of newly-minted tokens are not entitled to future cash flows, nor do they get an ownership stake in the startup. Instead, investors hope that the business plan becomes a reality, and the finite supply of coins will drive up their value.

Initial Public Offering (IPO)

This is the event of a company first selling its shares to the public. Due to unseasoned trading and lack of information, equities are often referred to as IPOs for months, if not years, following their debuts. Stocks that trade on the OTC or international markets are often called IPOs when they first offer shares in the US.

IPOs raise fresh capital to fuel expansion or acquisitions, and allow companies to tap capital markets in the future. An IPO also provides liquidity for investors, founders and employees. Widely covered by the financial press, an IPO is a marketing event that builds brand awareness. Executives, employees, customers, suppliers and other partners value the transparency and permanence of working with a public company.

A company begins the IPO process years in advance, bringing on a CFO, an auditor, a law firm, independent directors, and others. When it is ready, the company will have a beauty contest, selecting a lead manager and other investment banks to underwrite the deal. More often than not, it will first submit a confidential filing, so that it can privately hash out the required disclosures with the SEC staff. A public filing then follows, with the preliminary prospectus available on EDGAR. As soon as 15 days later, the company can file the proposed terms of the offering and launch its IPO roadshow. This is where management pitches its strategy to the buy side. After the roadshow, the company and the lead manager decide on an IPO price, and the stock begins trading the following day.

Going public is an expensive and time-consuming process, in large part due to regulations designed to protect investors.


Management, directors and significant stockholders are regarded as insiders because they are privy to information about the operations of a company not known to the general public. Insiders are restricted in the timing and manner in which they can dispose of shares.

Insider Buying

A company may disclose that insiders intend to purchase shares of the offering. Investors normally appreciate that they are purchasing at the same price as insiders (though their cost basis will still be much lower). This also reduces the float, as insiders are restricted from selling. Insider buying is very common for biotech IPOs, and not uncommon for technology deals. Disclosing insider buying when a company files its terms is generally viewed as a positive. However, adding insider buying after the IPO has launched often indicates weak demand for the deal.


An Exchange Traded Fund built for investing in recent IPOs. In most portfolios, IPOs are under-represented as an asset class. This is because the most popular indexes like the S&P 500 won't add companies until years after their IPO. Renaissance Capital manages two IPO-focused ETFs, one comprised of US offerings (NYSE: IPO) and the other with international offerings (NYSE: IPOS).

IPO Intelligence

Renaissance Capital's institutional IPO research service. IPO Intelligence is used by the largest IPO buyers and top investment banks for unbiased IPO analysis.

IPO Research

Prior to the offering, the underwriters involved in the IPO are prohibited from issuing research or recommendations. Following the IPO, the underwriter is allowed to issue a research report. These research reports are invariably positive. Renaissance Capital, through our IPO Intelligence research service, provides independent analyses of these companies. IPO Intelligence is the leading platform for providing this specialized research to prominent institutional investors.