What Is Initial Public Offering (IPO)?

When a private firm decides to go public, it conducts an Initial Public Offering (IPO), in which it sells shares to investors (IPO). It is the first time a company sells stock to the general public, institutional investors, or high-net-worth individuals (HNIs). A market for Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) is critical for enterprises seeking long-term finance. It differs from the secondary market, in which shares are traded between investors and corporations to meet their short-term capital needs.

An initial public offering (IPO) occurs when a privately held company registers its shares on a stock market and makes them available for purchase by the general public (IPO).

Companies can raise equity capital by selling existing shareholders‘ shares to the public in an initial public offering (IPO) or by issuing new shares to the public without raising any additional funds.

Many people feel that initial public offerings (IPOs) are good ways to make money because the stock prices of well-known firms jump when they go public. Although initial public offerings (IPOs) are popular, they are exceedingly hazardous investments with unpredictability in long-term profits.

Let Us See Quickly What It Specifically Means

  • An initial public offering (IPO) is when a company sells stock to raise funds.
  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) oversees the entire procedure and compels companies to abide by the rules stated.
  • To purchase any company’s shares in an IPO, you must place a bid.
  • If your bid is accepted, you will be given shares. If shares are not allotted due to oversubscription, you will be refunded.
  • If you participate in an IPO and buy stock, you become a shareholder of the company.
  • An initial public offering occurs when a company sells stock to raise funds (IPO).
  • Companies must follow strict restrictions and guidelines in order to acquire SEBI (Securities Exchange Board of India) approval to launch an IPO.
  • All retail investors are welcome to participate in IPOs, or first public offerings. Any client can submit an application through a broker.

The ‘issuer,’ or the corporation selling its stock, does it with the assistance of investment banks. Following the IPO, the company’s shares are traded on the open market. Such shares can subsequently be sold on the secondary market by investors. A corporation has a modest number of owners prior to its initial public offering (IPO). Entrepreneurs, angel investors, and venture capitalists are all invited to attend. In contrast, an IPO occurs when a corporation sells its stock to the general public.

Although an initial public offering (IPO) is the first time the general public can purchase stock in a firm, it is crucial to note that one of the aims of an IPO is to allow early investors to cash out their interests. Consider an IPO to represent the conclusion of one stage in a company’s life cycle and the beginning of another—many of the first investors desire to get a return on their investment in a new venture or start-up. Investors in more established private enterprises, on the other hand, may decide to sell some or all of their shares when they go public.

How does an IPO work and what are the functionalities that go after it?

Going public is a complicated, time-consuming procedure that most businesses find difficult to complete on their own. A private company seeking an IPO must not only prepare for increased public scrutiny, but also file a torrent of paperwork and financial reports in order to satisfy the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which oversees public firms. When a firm decides to go public, an investment bank is hired to handle the initial public offering (IPO). In the underwriting agreement, the investment bank and the company hash out the financial specifics of the IPO. The registration statement and underwriting agreement are subsequently submitted to the regulator. SEBI examines the information submitted and, following verification, determines the date of the IPO announcement.

As a result, when a private firm decides to go public, it hires an underwriter, usually an investment bank, to advise them on the IPO and help them choose the initial selling price. By developing crucial investor documents and scheduling roadshow meetings with potential investors, underwriters assist management in preparing for an initial public offering (IPO).

Reasons Why Companies Opt For An IPO

Investors must understand why the company is holding the IPO and what it plans to do with the proceeds. A company’s decision to go public is often viewed as a sign of growth. On the other hand, initial public offerings (IPOs) are performed with the following concerns in mind:

  • IPO is a Low-Cost Method of Raising Capital:

Funds from shareholders, investors, and venture capitalists are used to fund a privately held company’s operations and expansion. While this can assist a business get started, in order to compete, it may need to scale up operations or extend its variety of services/products, which will necessitate a major cash infusion.

If the firm’s current investors/shareholders are unable to raise the necessary capital, the company has two major options: obtain a loan or issue shares. While loans are relatively easy to obtain if the company has assets, the interest paid on the loans can be detrimental to the company’s finances and make profitability difficult. By going public, the firm assures that its capital requirements are covered at a lower cost.

  • Enhances the company’s reputation:

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) oversees the stock market and has strict criteria in place for companies looking to go public. As a result, investors can be certain that a firm going public has passed SEBI’s requirements and is thus a strong corporation. This improves the story’s overall trustworthiness.

  • Increases market visibility:

An initial public offering (IPO) is held once a month. Furthermore, many investors are unfamiliar with the firm doing the IPO and only hear about it during the initial public offering period. Investors continue to research the company as it promotes and advertises its initial public offering, reading up on its business and financials, and so on. The company’s market position is strengthened as a result of this. It can also exploit the publicity to expand its business.

  • Increases Existing Shareholders’ Liquidity and Profitability:

To get a private company off the ground, a limited number of owners contribute capital. Stockholders begin to earn as the company expands and obtains more customers. However, the company’s brand value and market goodwill cannot be monetized until it becomes public.

The market price of a corporation’s shares is decided by how the general public evaluates the company’s performance. Current shareholders can earn more money on their existing stock if the company has a significant presence and a favorable brand image. Furthermore, such companies’ shares trade in big volumes, increasing liquidity.

Disadvantages of an IPO

  • Market Restrictions:

Market pressures can be extremely challenging for company leaders who are accustomed to doing what they believe is best for the organization. Founders frequently have a long-term vision for their firm, seeing how it will look in the future and how it will impact the world. In contrast, the stock market is concerned with making money in the near term. When a company goes public, investors and experts from across the world scrutinize every step with the same goal in mind: “Will this company make its quarterly earnings target?”

  • The Time Commitment:

The IPO process is time-consuming and complicated, and it can begin up to two years before the public offering. The IPO’s management team and Board of Directors must be chosen. Financial statements, bylaws, and other legal agreements must be cleaned up and audited. It is critical that the system be operational. Financial information from the previous and current quarters is required. An application for a stock market listing must be submitted.

  • Expensive Transactions:

Initial public offerings (IPOs) are costly. In addition to the continuous expenditures of public firm regulatory compliance, the IPO transaction process is costly. The underwriting charges are the most expensive part of a public offering. Underwriters often charge between 5% and 7% of gross sales as their fee.

  • Possibility of Control Loss:

Founders of IPOs may lose control of their companies. While it is possible to ensure that the business’s founders retain the majority of decision-making authority, once a company becomes public, the leadership must satisfy the public, even if other shareholders have no voting power. When a firm goes public, it must raise large quantities of money from public shareholders. Since shareholders have invested so much money in the company, they expect it to behave in their best interests, even if it means taking a path that the founders disapprove of. If shareholders believe the firm is not running in a way that benefits them financially, they will utilize shareholder votes or public pressure to force the corporation to replace its leadership.


As a result, we now know that the fundamental reason firms prefer to offer shares through an IPO is to have easy access to enormous quantities of capital. Money that comes from the general people is unlike any other type of money. A company’s legitimacy is enhanced when it is listed on a stock exchange, which is advantageous in a variety of situations.

The company is seen as responsible since it is meant to be accountable to its hundreds (if not thousands) of shareholders. An initial public offering (IPO) is a good way to see how the general public feels about a company’s potential. It also gives private investors an exit option, allowing them to sell their shares for a large profit or simply watch their net worth grow exponentially as the value of the shares rises.

Ashba Rizvi
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