Stripe, SpaceX top list of 10 hot startup stocks in 2021

Tech-focused IPOs have not fared especially well in 2021. High-profile companies, including Robinhood, Coinbase, and Affirm, are trading well below their all-time highs since hitting the public markets earlier this year. Meanwhile, China’s Didi Chuxing—which made its U.S. trading debut in June—is in the process of delisting from the New York Stock Exchange after a regulatory crackdown hobbled its ability to grow.

But 2022 is just around the corner, and forward-looking investors are always looking for the next big thing.

EquityBee, a platform that helps startup employees purchase stock options, has shared with Fast Company its annual list of pre-IPO companies that are generating the most interest from its community of about 12,000 investors. The list is based on a “wishlist” feature on the EquityBee dashboard, so it doesn’t necessarily mean that these companies are going public anytime soon. Here’s the top 10: 

  1. Stripe 
  2. SpaceX
  3. Instacart
  4. Databricks
  5. Reddit
  6. Impossible Foods
  7. Discord
  8. Plaid
  9. Getaround
  10. Houzz

It’s not surprising to see Stripe top the list. The payments-processing company was identified as the most valuable U.S. startup back in March, to the tune of $95 billion. (Stripe was No. 3 on EquityBee’s list last year.) However, company executives have repeatedly said they’re in no hurry to go public. SpaceX, No. 2 on this year’s list, also seems to be taking its time, and Instacart, No. 3, recently delayed its IPO to focus on growing its grocery services, the Information reported.

All this IPO hesitancy is perhaps a contrast from October 2020, when we last wrote about EquityBee’s list. Back then, the top company on the list, Airbnb, debuted less than two months later, followed by Robinhood (last year’s No. 3) and Coinbase (last year’s No. 8). Only time will tell what 2022 has in store, but as the old proverb says, slow and steady wins the race.