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A look at 10 most successful IPOs


A successful IPO can mark the beginning of a company's flourishing public life, yet achieving such success is far from simple.

Both investors and companies actively search for the blueprint that leads to a booming initial offering. A keen understanding of the characteristics and strategies that have marked past IPOs with success offers critical insights for those preparing to launch their stocks into the market.

The following analysis provides a clear, concise look at the most successful initial public offerings, distilling guidance from historical triumphs to light the way for upcoming IPOs.


Understanding IPOs

An initial public offering, or IPO, marks a milestone in a company's journey, signifying a period of expansion and inviting public investment.

By deciding to go public, a company opens its doors for the first time to stock market investors, who can buy shares and thereby claim a stake in the company's future.

The transition from a private to a public company is a leap that requires meticulous preparation and the ability to communicate value to potential shareholders.

The level of attention an IPO attracts varies greatly. High-profile companies often generate excitement due to their brand recognition and potential for innovation. Yet, the success of an IPO is not solely about popularity; it also hinges on effectively marketing the offering.

Potential investors look for companies with a solid business plan, consistent performance, and prospects for growth in a thriving market. These factors, combined with strategic timing and pricing, are what make an IPO stand out.

Each IPO is unique and reflects the company's industry, market conditions, and economic backdrop.

A tech startup might capture imaginations with cutting-edge innovation, while a retail giant may offer the promise of steady growth. Companies need to communicate their unique value proposition clearly, avoiding technical jargon that can obscure their message.

Clarity and relevance in presenting a company's vision, strategy, and potential are what can turn an ordinary IPO into a remarkable one.


List of successful IPOs to take as an example

Understanding what makes an IPO successful can be challenging. Companies aim to debut with strength in the public market, yet achieving this goal is no small feat.

This section presents a list of notable IPOs that have navigated the process exceptionally well. These examples have not only captured investor interest during their initial launch but have also maintained robust performance over time.

They serve as invaluable case studies for the elements that contribute to a prosperous public offering.

1. Saudi Aramco

  • IPO Date: December 5, 2019.
  • IPO Funds Raised: $25.6 billion.
  • Valuation as of 2023: $1.93 trillion.

Securing its spot as the most substantial IPO to date, the ascent of Saudi Aramco was anything but a low-key affair.

With a robust financial foundation laid down by an unprecedented initial offering, the company bolstered the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's status in the global economic arena. Speculations were rife about the Saudi royal family pulling strings to achieve such a record-breaking IPO.

Nonetheless, the company's stocks have been on a steady climb, registering nearly a 10% annual growth post-IPO.

2. Visa

  • IPO Date: March 19, 2008.
  • IPO Funds Raised: $17.86 billion.
  • Valuation as of 2023: $464 billion.

The 2008 IPO of Visa remains unmatched as the largest from an American company. Amidst the escalating credit crisis, Visa took a bold step by going public, a move that paid off as investors flocked to its shares.

The stock concluded its opening day trading at $44, up 28% from the initial price, standing out in a market where other stocks were faltering. Visa's success during a period of financial turmoil highlighted the company's resilience and the ironic twist of a credit company thriving in a credit-strapped time.

3. SoftBank Corp

  • IPO Date: December 18, 2018.
  • IPO Funds Raised: $21.3 billion, with a $63 billion market valuation.
  • Valuation as of 2023: $66.7 billion.

SoftBank's entry into the public market was a landmark event, marking the largest IPO in Japan's rich history of tech and conglomerate offerings.

Despite a tumultuous start with a significant drop in stock price on day one, it managed a rebound.

However, the company's journey in the stock market has been shadowed by the fallout from its investment in WeWork and the broader tech sector's struggles amid the Coronavirus pandemic.

4. AIA Group

  • IPO Date: October 21, 2010.
  • IPO Funding: $17.78 billion, with an initial valuation of $30.5 billion.
  • Valuation as of 2023: $127 billion.

Not as widely recognized as its former parent company AIG, AIA made headlines with the largest IPO to date in Hong Kong in 2010.

The offering's immediate 10% gain in stock price mirrored the intense demand, being 60% over-subscribed.

Over time, AIA's performance on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange has been stellar, regularly yielding returns that outpace the market until it experienced a temporary 35% downturn during the global pandemic.

5. NTT Mobile

  • IPO Date: September 25, 1998.
  • IPO Funds Raised: $18.1 billion.
  • Valuation as of 2023: $97 billion.

NTT Mobile's IPO is a significant chapter in Japan's financial narrative, holding the record as the nation's largest at the time.

Goldman Sachs, chronicling the event with pride on their site, played a pivotal role, signalling a departure from the Japanese norm of local investment banks leading IPOs.

Its public offering established NTT Mobile as Japan's third-largest entity by market capitalization, marking a pivotal achievement for both the company and Goldman Sachs.

6. General Motors

  • IPO Date: November 16, 2010.
  • IPO Funds Raised: $16.45 billion.
  • Valuation as of 2023: $60.1 billion.

General Motors (GM), often associated with the notion 'too big to fail,' once stood alongside Wall Street giants as a recipient of substantial government bailouts.

The automotive powerhouse staged a remarkable turnaround with a robust IPO, not only repaying U.S. taxpayers but also attracting immense investor interest.

Over ten years later, GM's continued success serves as a testament to the enduring strength and adaptability of this iconic American company.

7. Facebook

  • IPO Date: May 18, 2012.
  • IPO Funds Raised: $16.01 billion, with a $96 billion valuation.
  • Valuation as of 2023: $447 billion.

In the wake of its 2012 IPO, Facebook faced widespread curiosity over its value post-Hollywood dramatisation, a rarity for any company. The social media behemoth's journey has been one of ambition, including flirtations with its digital currency.

Despite a stock price that has consistently climbed from its initial offering, recent years have brought challenges, signalling a shift from the once seemingly invincible position at its renowned headquarters.

8. Deutsche Telekom

  • IPO Date: November 18, 1996.
  • IPO Funds Raised: $13.96 billion, with a valuation of $49.7 billion.
  • Valuation as of 2023: $111 billion.

Deutsche Telekom's nearly $14 billion IPO in 1996 was a monumental event, signalling the telecom giant's confidence in the nascent internet and mobile communications market.

With a valuation just shy of $50 billion at the time, it represented a significant wager on the burgeoning tech trends poised to revolutionise daily life. Since then, the company has seen a steady performance, more than doubling its value over a quarter of a century.

9. Alibaba Group

  • IPO Date: September 19, 2014.
  • IPO Funds Raised: $21.7 billion; initially valued at $167.6 billion.
  • Valuation as of 2023: $272.9 billion.

Alibaba's debut on the stock market was met with unprecedented excitement, described by one of the deal's underwriters as an unmatched frenzy surrounding its first trading day.

This buzz was reflected in the stock's impressive close at 38% above the offering price after the market closed on its first day.

While the initial euphoria suggested a bright future, the company's performance has since been muted, with speculations attributing this to the political headwinds it has encountered domestically.

10. ENEL SpA

  • IPO Date: November 2, 1999.
  • IPO Funds Raised: $16.45 billion, with a $55 billion valuation.
  • Valuation as of 2023: $59 billion.

When ENEL SpA launched its IPO in 1999, it set a record as the largest public offering of its time, a title it maintains as the biggest Italian IPO as of 2023.

Despite the simultaneous allure of dot-com stocks, which overshadowed traditional investments, ENEL's IPO didn't attract the expected level of interest.

Two decades later, the company's market valuation hovers close to its initial worth, showcasing a period of stability rather than the rapid growth experienced by the tech sector.

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Bottom line

We've seen that a successful IPO can be the launching pad for a company's long-term prosperity. We've looked at what makes an IPO stand out and shared examples of companies that hit the ground running on their first day in the public markets.

These stories offer valuable lessons for both businesses considering going public and investors looking for their next opportunity.

For those keen to continue their learning journey, enrich your understanding by reading: How to trade CFDs: a beginner's guide?

Happy trading!


When considering initial public offering (IPO) for trading and price predictions, remember that trading CFDs involves a significant degree of risk and could result in capital loss. Past performance is not indicative of any future results. This information is provided for informative purposes only and should not be construed to be investment advice.

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