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罗宾汉IPO不走寻常路,又将是一场散户狂欢?

罗宾汉IPO不走寻常路,又将是一场散户狂欢?

Shawn Tully 2021年04月02日
罗宾汉公司的总估值很可能达到500亿美元,是今年到目前为止规模最大的IPO。

罗宾汉公司(Robinhood)的首席执行官弗拉德·特涅夫最近主持了一场“炉边谈话”,与这家引领风潮的在线经纪公司的客户亲切攀谈。他坐在一个静止的画面前——上面显示的是一个温馨的壁炉——长发飘飘,穿一件圆领毛衣,看上去轻松自在,颇有风度。特涅夫重申了他长期追寻的使命:“为所有人实现金融民主化。”有报道称,在罗宾汉即将上市之际,特涅夫、公司的联合创始人拜朱·巴特,以及风险投资人选择了一条新颖的路线,而不是我们常见的那种由华尔街主导的上市方式。通常情况下,拟上市企业会把所有或几乎所有的股票留给对冲基金、共同基金,以及构成公司最赚钱客户群的其他大型投资者。

在3月23日发布的一篇博文中,罗宾汉证实了美国全国广播公司财经频道(CNBC)之前的报道,称该公司刚刚向美国证券交易委员会(SEC)提交了首次公开募股(IPO)文件。据美国全国广播公司财经频道报道,罗宾汉将在纳斯达克(Nasdaq)上市。招股说明书仍然保密,所以我们还不知道其股票的定价区间,也不知道它计划发行多少股。在去年9月完成的一轮风投融资中,罗宾汉募集了6亿美元,其估值由此跃升至120亿美元左右。仅在今年1月,它就新增用户300万,从而使其用户总数超过1300万。罗宾汉的总估值很可能达到500亿美元,让2021年迄今为止的每宗IPO都相形见绌,并由此跻身2020年年初以来的十大IPO交易之列。顺便说一句,2020年是企业上市特别畅旺的一年。

“亲和力”计划

据媒体报道,罗宾汉正在筹备一项“亲和力”计划,作为其首次公开募股的组成部分。这些计划并不是特别常见,但我们已经见证了一些备受关注的案例,尤其是在最近几年。

早在1996年,波士顿啤酒公司(Boston Beer)就在销售6瓶装Sam Adams啤酒时提供优惠券,授予3万名顾客每人以15美元的上市前价格购买33股的权利,这部分股票占拟发行股票总数的22%。这番操作让小人物排在了股票认购队伍的最前列。啤酒消费者的买入价比基金购买上市前股票的价格低了5美元。去年年初,爱彼迎(Airbnb)在其价值35亿美元的IPO中特意为广大房东预留了2.38亿美元的上市前股票,每位房主最多可以购买200股。这只股票在首个交易日就从68美元飙升至144美元。对房东来说,1.36万美元的投资上限转眼间就变成了2.87万美元。爱彼迎目前的股价为174美元。

在英国,Deliveroo正在邀请客户参与其IPO,此举引发热议。这家获得亚马逊(Amazon)支持的美食外卖平台计划筹集约10亿美元。该交易很可能会在本周启动,并且有望创下伦敦股市多年来规模最大的IPO之一。Deliveroo专门为那些已经在其网站下单的老用户,以及点击应用程序购买杂货的新用户拨备了6000万美元的股票。流向散户的股票仅占4%,并不算大,但正如首席执行官及创始人许子祥(Will Shu)所言:“有太多太多的普通人被锁在IPO之外,唯一的参与者是机构投资者。我想让尽可能多的客户获得成为股东的机会。”

亲和力计划并非总是有效。2006年,企业电信解决方案提供商Vonage做出了一个大胆的举动,将大约八分之一的IPO股票预留给了客户。但该股在开盘一周内暴跌了30%,那些获得几天宽限期的客户拒绝付款,Vonage被迫买单,媒体的负面报道接踵而至。2019年,网约车服务商Uber和Lyft不约而同地为资深司机提供现金补贴,以资助他们购买一小部分上市前股票,但两只股票在随后几个月都表现不佳。

罗宾汉的IPO可能是什么模样

我们不知道罗宾汉计划向客户出售多大比例的股票。佛罗里达大学(University of Florida)的杰伊·里特指出,近十年来分配给散户的最高股票份额可能是Facebook在2012年提供的25%。不妨假设一下,罗宾汉想玩一把大的,它告诉承销商,应该把一半股票留给其账户持有人社区。

倘若如此,罗宾汉很可能与高盛(Goldman Sachs)牵头的投资银行展开一场有趣的拉锯战。一方面,投行家会像以往一样,希望为自己的客户保留尽可能多的股份。“但面对承销商时,罗宾汉拥有很强的议价能力。”里特说,“这次IPO可能会募集30亿美元。即使华尔街分得一半,也有15亿美元的股票可以分配给那些给他们带来最多业务的基金。”

华尔街的议价能力同样不可小觑,因为罗宾汉的定价显然会遵循传统的IPO模式,如果不是更加循规蹈矩的话。投行家很可能会让这家经纪公司大幅压低发行价,这向来是他们的首要目标。“在上市前谈判中,罗宾汉不会要求推高股价,因为那样做有风险:一旦股票开始交易,罗宾汉的客户就会赔钱。”里特指出,“相较于罗宾汉的高管,不提高承销商提议的发行价对投行来说更容易一些。”发行价越低,首日涨幅就越大。无论是对银行和基金,还是对那些购买了很可能超级便宜的股票的罗宾汉粉丝来说,这都是一个皆大欢喜的结果。

一个“爆款”

罗宾汉一直备受小投资者推崇。假设它的客户确实能够购买此次发行的一半股票。里特说,一旦它开始交易,这些人不太可能购买更多的股票。“散户投资者与机构不同。”他说,“如果大型基金分得的股票比例低于他们寻求长期持有的总量,他们就会买入更多;如果不打算长期持有,他们就会卖出。如果散户投资者在IPO中获得了一定数量的股票,他们往往会选择持有,而不会在开盘当天跳入市场买入更多股票。”

一旦罗宾汉在纳斯达克上市,其股票很可能会获得普罗大众的追捧。这些投资者或许还没有在罗宾汉开设账户,可能正在考虑这么做,或者把自己视为罗宾汉发起的这场革命的步兵。里特称:“罗宾汉在散户投资者中拥有很高的知名度。”他认为,普罗大众的购买热情很可能将这只股票的价格推高到“脱离基本面”的水平。

难言革命

上市首日大幅上涨,将被庆贺为小投资者的胜利。麻烦之处在于,这场胜利仅限于那些与大型基金获得同样甜头的罗宾汉客户。一旦股票开始交易,所有其他的小鱼小虾都将支付可能要高得多的买入价。此外,压低发行价也意味着罗宾汉无法享用“摆在桌面上”的数亿美元资金——它本来可以将这笔预先放弃的巨款收入囊中。据媒体报道,罗宾汉计划开发一款应用程序,允许业余人士以上市前的承销价购买其他公司发行的股票。但这个计划不太可能成功,因为这将与华尔街竭力确保自己的肥猫吃饱喝足的愿望发生冲突。“回顾过去,所有旨在确保散户获得高比例股票的努力都落空了,因为承销商、对冲基金和大型共同基金的既得利益太难克服了。”里特说。

至少从媒体报道来看,罗宾汉模式的问题在于,它让华尔街和罗宾汉的客户迅速捞到好处,但“零售投资世界中的其他散户只能够以更高的价格买入。这是有限的民主,只有特定群体可以投票。”里特说。

要成为真正的革命者,罗宾汉应该“直接上市”,这也是里特和Benchmark的合伙人比尔·格利领衔的一众风险投资家所青睐的上市方式。Spotify在2018年做了一次成功的尝试,Slack也在第二年采用这种方式成功上市。在直接上市交易中,所有寻求购买的投资者,无论是对冲基金还是小投资者,都需要在股票开始交易前将他们的报价发送给处理发行工作的交易所。

纳斯达克或纽约证券交易所(NYSE)的专家会在清晨开盘前举行拍卖。这个竞价流程对所有大小参与者开放。让供需达到平衡的价格就是股票的开盘价。你不会碰到典型的IPO“超额需求”问题,即发行价定得过低,以至于基金认购的股票数量是投行分配的五倍。

这个价格发现过程有助于消除或减少所谓的“爆款”现象。交易开始时入场的散户投资者支付的买入价,与那些参与拍卖的大小投资者几乎完全相同。如此一来,小人物就获得了堪比华尔街宠儿的待遇。如果罗宾汉想实现真正的IPO民主,它就应该敞开大门,以同样的条件欢迎所有的投资者,而不仅仅是它自己的客户和华尔街大机构。

在引领群众运动方面,罗宾汉已经证明了它的高明之处。它现在有机会发起一场新运动,着手改变金融市场中最精英化、最不平等的角落。(财富中文网)

译者:任文科

罗宾汉公司(Robinhood)的首席执行官弗拉德·特涅夫最近主持了一场“炉边谈话”,与这家引领风潮的在线经纪公司的客户亲切攀谈。他坐在一个静止的画面前——上面显示的是一个温馨的壁炉——长发飘飘,穿一件圆领毛衣,看上去轻松自在,颇有风度。特涅夫重申了他长期追寻的使命:“为所有人实现金融民主化。”有报道称,在罗宾汉即将上市之际,特涅夫、公司的联合创始人拜朱·巴特,以及风险投资人选择了一条新颖的路线,而不是我们常见的那种由华尔街主导的上市方式。通常情况下,拟上市企业会把所有或几乎所有的股票留给对冲基金、共同基金,以及构成公司最赚钱客户群的其他大型投资者。

在3月23日发布的一篇博文中,罗宾汉证实了美国全国广播公司财经频道(CNBC)之前的报道,称该公司刚刚向美国证券交易委员会(SEC)提交了首次公开募股(IPO)文件。据美国全国广播公司财经频道报道,罗宾汉将在纳斯达克(Nasdaq)上市。招股说明书仍然保密,所以我们还不知道其股票的定价区间,也不知道它计划发行多少股。在去年9月完成的一轮风投融资中,罗宾汉募集了6亿美元,其估值由此跃升至120亿美元左右。仅在今年1月,它就新增用户300万,从而使其用户总数超过1300万。罗宾汉的总估值很可能达到500亿美元,让2021年迄今为止的每宗IPO都相形见绌,并由此跻身2020年年初以来的十大IPO交易之列。顺便说一句,2020年是企业上市特别畅旺的一年。

“亲和力”计划

据媒体报道,罗宾汉正在筹备一项“亲和力”计划,作为其首次公开募股的组成部分。这些计划并不是特别常见,但我们已经见证了一些备受关注的案例,尤其是在最近几年。

早在1996年,波士顿啤酒公司(Boston Beer)就在销售6瓶装Sam Adams啤酒时提供优惠券,授予3万名顾客每人以15美元的上市前价格购买33股的权利,这部分股票占拟发行股票总数的22%。这番操作让小人物排在了股票认购队伍的最前列。啤酒消费者的买入价比基金购买上市前股票的价格低了5美元。去年年初,爱彼迎(Airbnb)在其价值35亿美元的IPO中特意为广大房东预留了2.38亿美元的上市前股票,每位房主最多可以购买200股。这只股票在首个交易日就从68美元飙升至144美元。对房东来说,1.36万美元的投资上限转眼间就变成了2.87万美元。爱彼迎目前的股价为174美元。

在英国,Deliveroo正在邀请客户参与其IPO,此举引发热议。这家获得亚马逊(Amazon)支持的美食外卖平台计划筹集约10亿美元。该交易很可能会在本周启动,并且有望创下伦敦股市多年来规模最大的IPO之一。Deliveroo专门为那些已经在其网站下单的老用户,以及点击应用程序购买杂货的新用户拨备了6000万美元的股票。流向散户的股票仅占4%,并不算大,但正如首席执行官及创始人许子祥(Will Shu)所言:“有太多太多的普通人被锁在IPO之外,唯一的参与者是机构投资者。我想让尽可能多的客户获得成为股东的机会。”

亲和力计划并非总是有效。2006年,企业电信解决方案提供商Vonage做出了一个大胆的举动,将大约八分之一的IPO股票预留给了客户。但该股在开盘一周内暴跌了30%,那些获得几天宽限期的客户拒绝付款,Vonage被迫买单,媒体的负面报道接踵而至。2019年,网约车服务商Uber和Lyft不约而同地为资深司机提供现金补贴,以资助他们购买一小部分上市前股票,但两只股票在随后几个月都表现不佳。

罗宾汉的IPO可能是什么模样

我们不知道罗宾汉计划向客户出售多大比例的股票。佛罗里达大学(University of Florida)的杰伊·里特指出,近十年来分配给散户的最高股票份额可能是Facebook在2012年提供的25%。不妨假设一下,罗宾汉想玩一把大的,它告诉承销商,应该把一半股票留给其账户持有人社区。

倘若如此,罗宾汉很可能与高盛(Goldman Sachs)牵头的投资银行展开一场有趣的拉锯战。一方面,投行家会像以往一样,希望为自己的客户保留尽可能多的股份。“但面对承销商时,罗宾汉拥有很强的议价能力。”里特说,“这次IPO可能会募集30亿美元。即使华尔街分得一半,也有15亿美元的股票可以分配给那些给他们带来最多业务的基金。”

华尔街的议价能力同样不可小觑,因为罗宾汉的定价显然会遵循传统的IPO模式,如果不是更加循规蹈矩的话。投行家很可能会让这家经纪公司大幅压低发行价,这向来是他们的首要目标。“在上市前谈判中,罗宾汉不会要求推高股价,因为那样做有风险:一旦股票开始交易,罗宾汉的客户就会赔钱。”里特指出,“相较于罗宾汉的高管,不提高承销商提议的发行价对投行来说更容易一些。”发行价越低,首日涨幅就越大。无论是对银行和基金,还是对那些购买了很可能超级便宜的股票的罗宾汉粉丝来说,这都是一个皆大欢喜的结果。

一个“爆款”

罗宾汉一直备受小投资者推崇。假设它的客户确实能够购买此次发行的一半股票。里特说,一旦它开始交易,这些人不太可能购买更多的股票。“散户投资者与机构不同。”他说,“如果大型基金分得的股票比例低于他们寻求长期持有的总量,他们就会买入更多;如果不打算长期持有,他们就会卖出。如果散户投资者在IPO中获得了一定数量的股票,他们往往会选择持有,而不会在开盘当天跳入市场买入更多股票。”

一旦罗宾汉在纳斯达克上市,其股票很可能会获得普罗大众的追捧。这些投资者或许还没有在罗宾汉开设账户,可能正在考虑这么做,或者把自己视为罗宾汉发起的这场革命的步兵。里特称:“罗宾汉在散户投资者中拥有很高的知名度。”他认为,普罗大众的购买热情很可能将这只股票的价格推高到“脱离基本面”的水平。

难言革命

上市首日大幅上涨,将被庆贺为小投资者的胜利。麻烦之处在于,这场胜利仅限于那些与大型基金获得同样甜头的罗宾汉客户。一旦股票开始交易,所有其他的小鱼小虾都将支付可能要高得多的买入价。此外,压低发行价也意味着罗宾汉无法享用“摆在桌面上”的数亿美元资金——它本来可以将这笔预先放弃的巨款收入囊中。据媒体报道,罗宾汉计划开发一款应用程序,允许业余人士以上市前的承销价购买其他公司发行的股票。但这个计划不太可能成功,因为这将与华尔街竭力确保自己的肥猫吃饱喝足的愿望发生冲突。“回顾过去,所有旨在确保散户获得高比例股票的努力都落空了,因为承销商、对冲基金和大型共同基金的既得利益太难克服了。”里特说。

至少从媒体报道来看,罗宾汉模式的问题在于,它让华尔街和罗宾汉的客户迅速捞到好处,但“零售投资世界中的其他散户只能够以更高的价格买入。这是有限的民主,只有特定群体可以投票。”里特说。

要成为真正的革命者,罗宾汉应该“直接上市”,这也是里特和Benchmark的合伙人比尔·格利领衔的一众风险投资家所青睐的上市方式。Spotify在2018年做了一次成功的尝试,Slack也在第二年采用这种方式成功上市。在直接上市交易中,所有寻求购买的投资者,无论是对冲基金还是小投资者,都需要在股票开始交易前将他们的报价发送给处理发行工作的交易所。

纳斯达克或纽约证券交易所(NYSE)的专家会在清晨开盘前举行拍卖。这个竞价流程对所有大小参与者开放。让供需达到平衡的价格就是股票的开盘价。你不会碰到典型的IPO“超额需求”问题,即发行价定得过低,以至于基金认购的股票数量是投行分配的五倍。

这个价格发现过程有助于消除或减少所谓的“爆款”现象。交易开始时入场的散户投资者支付的买入价,与那些参与拍卖的大小投资者几乎完全相同。如此一来,小人物就获得了堪比华尔街宠儿的待遇。如果罗宾汉想实现真正的IPO民主,它就应该敞开大门,以同样的条件欢迎所有的投资者,而不仅仅是它自己的客户和华尔街大机构。

在引领群众运动方面,罗宾汉已经证明了它的高明之处。它现在有机会发起一场新运动,着手改变金融市场中最精英化、最不平等的角落。(财富中文网)

译者:任文科

Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev recently hosted a "fireside chat" for customers of the trailblazing online broker. Seated before the stationary tableau displaying a cozy hearth, the shaggy-coiffed, turtlenecked––by the way, relaxed and personable––Tenev reaffirmed his longstanding "mission to democratize finance for all." Now that Robinhood will soon go public, Tenev, his co-founder Baiju Bhatt, and VC investors are reportedly choosing a novel route that departs from the usual, Wall Street-dominated new listings that reserve all or almost all the shares for the hedge, mutual funds, and the other big investors that form the firms' most lucrative clientele.

In a March 23 blog post, Robinhood confirmed a previous CNBC report that it had just filed a paperwork with the SEC for an initial public offering. According to CNBC, it will list on the Nasdaq. The prospectus is confidential, so we don't know the proposed price range, or number of share it plans to float. Robinhood raised $600 million in a VC financing round in September that lifted its value to around $12 billion. It added 3 million new customers in January alone, swelling its roster of users to over 13 million. It's likely that the Robinhood's total valuation will reach $50 billion, dwarfing every IPO so far in 2021 and ranking in the top ten since the start of 2020, a banner year for new listings.

An "affinity" program

According to press reports, Robinhood's planning what appears to be an "affinity program" as part of the offering. Those plans aren't extremely common, but we've seen a few high profile ones, especially in the last few years.

As far back as 1996, Boston Beer offered coupons with six-packs of Sam Adams granting 30,000 customers the right to buy 33 shares each, amounting to 22% of the offering, at a pre-IPO price of $15. That put the little guy at the front of the line. The beer drinkers bought at $5 less than what the funds paid for their pre-IPO shares. Early last year, Airbnb set aside $238 million in pre-IPO stock in its $3.5 billion offering for its hosts, each of whom could buy up to 200 shares. The stock vaulted from $68 to $144 on opening day, turning the maximum $13,600 investment into $28,700, and today it's trading at $174.

In the U.K., Deliveroo is generating lots of buzz by inviting clients into its IPO. The food-shuttling service backed by Amazon plans to raise around a $1 billion in one of London's biggest flotations in years, likely to happen this week. It's earmarked $60 million in shares for people who have already placed orders at the site, or newcomers who click the app to buy its groceries. The four percent or so going to retail isn't big, but as CEO and founder Will Shu put it: "Far too many normal people are locked out of IPOs, and the only participants are institutional investors. I wanted to give as many customers as possible the chance to become shareholders."

Affinity programs don't always work. In 2006, Vonage, a provider of enterprise telecom solutions, made a bold move by reserving around one-eighth of its IPO shares for customers. But the stock cratered 30% in the opening week, and clients who'd been given a few days grace period refused to pay, sticking Vonage with the bill, and unleashing lots of bad press. In 2019, both Uber and Lyft gave veteran drivers cash grants to buy a small allocation of pre-IPO shares, but both stocks performed poorly in the months that followed.

What Robinhood's offering might look like

We don't know what portion of the shares Robinhood plans to target for its customers. According to Jay Ritter of the University of Florida, the highest retail allocation in a decade is probably the 25% share offered by Facebook in 2012. Let's make the assumption that Robinhood wants to go super-big and tells the underwriters that half the shares should go to its community of account holders.

This scenario forms the backdrop for an interesting tug-of-war between Robinhood and its investment bankers, reportedly led by Goldman Sachs. On the one hand, the bankers will want to keep the highest possible number of shares for their own clients, as they always do. "But Robinhood has lots of bargaining power with its underwriters," says Ritter. "This IPO could raise $3 billion. Even if Wall Street gets half, that's $1.5 billion in shares to distribute to the funds that give them the most business."

Wall Street has bargaining power as well––because the pricing apparently follows the pattern of traditional IPOs, if not more so. The bankers have a good shot at getting the broker to steeply underprice its offering, always a paramount objective. "In the pre-IPO negotiations, Robinhood won't want to push up the price because that would run the risk that its customers would lose money once the shares start trading," notes Ritter. "It's easier for the banks to the Robinhood executives not to raise the price that the underwriters propose." The lower the offering price, the bigger the first day bump. That outcome would be a winner both for the banks and funds, and for the Robinhood fans who bought what are likely to be super-cheap shares.

A huge "pop"

Robinhood is a cult phenomenon for small investors. Say its customers do get to buy half the shares issued in the offering. Ritter says it's unlikely those folks will purchase a lot more once it starts trading. "Retail investors are different from institutions," he says. "Big funds will buy more if their allocations are below the total they're seeking to hold in the long-run, or sell if they're not long-term holders. If retail investors get a certain number of shares in an IPO offering, they tend to keep them, and not jump into the market on opening day to buy more."

Once Robinhood debuts on Nasdaq, its shares should also prove a huge hit with the Main Street universe that doesn't trade at Robinhood, and may be thinking about it, or count themselves as foot soldiers of the revolution it's launched. "With Robinhood, you've got big name recognition with retail investors," says Ritter. He sees a strong possibility that a surge in Main Street buying pushes prices to heights "unhinged from fundamentals."

Short of a revolution

A huge, first day pop would be roundly cheered as a triumph for small investors. The rub is that the victory is limited to the Robinhood customers who got the same sweet deal as the big funds. All the other small fry would pay the what's likely to be the far higher price once the shares start trading. Robinhood would also be leaving tons of money "on the table" by underpricing the shares––hundreds or millions or more of foregone dollars that it could have put into its treasury. Its reported plan to develop an app allowing amateurs to buy shares at the pre-IPO underwriting price in other offerings is unlikely to succeed, since it will clash with Wall Street's desire to ensure that its own fat cats get the rich milk. "In the past, all the efforts to ensure large retail allocations have fallen on their face because the vested interests of the underwriters, hedge funds and big mutual funds are so hard to overcome," says Ritter.

The problem with the Robinhood paradigm, at least as reported, is that it hands down a quick score to Wall Street and Robinhood's clients, but "the rest of the retail world comes in at higher price. It's limited democracy where only certain people can vote," says Ritter.

To stand as a true revolutionary, Robinhood should do a "direct listing," the the vehicle favored by Ritter and venture capitalists led by Bill Gurley of Benchmark. Spotify did a successful one in 2018, as did Slack the following year. In a direct listing, all investors seeking to buy—from hedge funds to the mom and pop contingent—send their bids to the exchange handling the offering before shares begin to trade.

The specialists at the NASDAQ or NYSE hold an auction in the early morning before the bell. The bidding is open to all participants, big and small. The price that establishes the balance between supply and demand is where the stock opens. You don't have the signature IPO issue of "excess demand," where the price is so low that funds put in orders for five times as many shares as they're allocated by the investment banks.

That price discovery process eliminates or minimizes the "pop." Retail investors who enter when trading starts purchase at almost exactly the same price as small and large investors who participated in the auction. The little guy gets just as good a deal as Wall Street's favorites. If Robinhood wants real IPO democracy, it should open the door so that all comers, not just its own customers and the Wall Street big shots, are welcome on the same terms.

Robinhood's proven brilliant at marshaling mass movements. Here's a chance to start a new one: Transforming the most elitist, non-egalitarian corner of our financial markets.

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