Several large high-tech companies are about to enter the public market, and speculation about the effects of a crash of millionaires day-to-day, submerging the region, has reached its peak.
The San Francisco-based Uber, Lyft, AirBnb, Pinterest, Postmates and Slack companies are all expected to sell their shares for the first time in the coming weeks, allowing tens of thousands of employees currently holding shares to instantly increase their personal wealth exponentially.
Companies go public every day without fanfares or attentions, but it is rare that so many highly rewarding companies do it in such a short period of time – and close to one of them. another in a city already ravaged by the economic crisis the disparities created by the technological boom.
As with any initial public offering (IPO), it is impossible to say how successful companies will be. However, even the most conservative calculations predict heavy rains on a city already sunk in the waters.
Lyft, who will participate for the first time Thursday, hopes to enter the market between $ 20 billion and $ 25 billion, while his rival Uber is valued at $ 120 billion. Pinterest was last valued at $ 12.3 billion, while AirBnb is estimated at $ 38 billion.
Economists do not have any case studies to predict the effect of this event on San Francisco. Twitter, which entered the stock market in 2013 with a budget of $ 24 billion, was at the time one of the only large technology companies in Silicon Valley with its headquarters in San Francisco. Facebook debuted at $ 104 billion in 2012, but its head office in Menlo Park meant that the effects of sudden wealth were not so concentrated in one place.
"Just to put things on the Twitter scale, if Twitter was a big normal IPO, Lyft aims to be as big as Twitter," said Ted Egan, the chief economist of the office's 39, economic analysis of San Francisco. "Uber aims to be five times bigger than Twitter and AirBnb will be the size of Twitter. If you consider them all as earthquakes and they all strike at about the same time, you'll notice it.
The impact of the IPO of these companies will not be as immediate as, say, thousands of Franciscans from San having won the draw, said Egan. There is usually a contractual restriction preventing insiders from selling their shares within a certain period of time ranging from 90 to 180 days after the date of their IPO.
The value of the stock may change during this period. Twitter opened at $ 45.10 and was trading at $ 29.51 six months later. Facebook opened at $ 42.05 in 2012. November was trading at $ 22.18 in November 2012.
Anyway, some San Franciscans are already concerned. In a city of such wealth, about 7,500 people are forced to sleep on the sidewalks each night. Soaring rents are forcing teachers and food industry workers out of the city, with rising housing costs fueled in part by the technology boom.
Last week, the city's supervisor, Gordon Mar, called for a hearing on the impact of these imminent IPOs. "
"While we are seeing only the rapid growth of this technology sector and its companies and this continuing influx of new wealth and new residents occupying these jobs, we are seeing that an increasing number of problems are not solely caused by Affordability of housing and gentrification, but the inequality of wealth and traffic congestion in the city and region, "said March
IPOs embark on a fierce debate about whether technology companies are paying their fair share in the city. In 2012, the city decided to phase out a payroll tax based on staff favoring a gross revenue tax based on gross profits, a boon for tech start-ups in Europe. booming, with high operating costs but low revenues.
"The payroll tax has been reduced from 1.5% to 0.375% thanks to the gradual abolition of the gross revenue tax," said Mr. Mar. "These companies will become public, the tax they will have to paying to the city will be a quarter of what it would have been before it would have been in 2012 for the stock allowance income. "
Last fall, Proposal C, a tax measure aimed at raising funds for homelessness services, was set aside. Voters finally approved the imposition of an average gross revenue tax of 0.5% for businesses with revenues exceeding $ 50 million. Technology leaders such as Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey have reinforced the debate with their very public fights. on the tax.
Now that all these companies are about to become public, Mar believes it's more important than ever that city policymakers act with both eyes open.
"This is really an important time for us to consider where we are, after all this has happened, and see what we can do, not only to ensure that the technology sector pays its fair share. but also that we have a balanced strategy. the economy goes forward, "said Mar" I think everything is on the table right now, so that we can move our city forward in a more sustainable and equitable way for all. "