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Silicon Valley investors and execs want new IPO system, report said

Silicon Valley investors and execs want new IPO system, report said
  • Silicon Valley investors and executives are holding a big summit to explore alternatives to Wall Street’s system for initial public offerings, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.
  • The summit will examine the system in place for IPOs which is based largely on rules set by the financial industry and run largely by underwriters. 
  • The gathering will look into alternative processes, including the use of direct listings based on cutting-edge software algorithms.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories

Prominent Silicon Valley investors and executives, fed up with recent initial public offering fumbles, are holding a big meeting to explore alternatives to Wall Street-style IPOs, a Bloomberg report said Tuesday.

The Silicon Valley summit features major venture capitalists, executives and other leading tech figures, including author Michael Lewis, will examine the prevailing system for IPOs which is based largely on rules set by the financial industry and dominated by underwriters.

The gathering will explore alternative systems, including the use of direct listings based on cutting-edge software algorithms.

“I’m not anti-banker, I’m pro-algorithm,” Bill Gurley, general partner at Benchmark, a venture capital firm, and one of the summit organizers, said in the report.

Gurley also said humans have been systematically “mispricing” IPOs for decades, the report said. 

Sequoia Capital’s Mike Moritz has been trying to highlight the advantages of direct listings, in which computer systems would play a key role in shifting privately held shares to the public markets, according to the report. Under this system, banks would not be able to purchase giant blocks of stock which they typically parcel out to clients at a single price.

The report also said Gurley cited research by Jay Ritter, a professor at the University of Florida, who found that startups are usually significant underpriced in IPOs underwritten by Wall Street firms.

The Silicon Valley investors and executives are holding the summit following a series of disappointing IPOs and IPO filings, highlighted by the aborted offering from WeWork.

The flexible-office-space company shelved its IPO amid growing concerns about its financials, its strategy and the ability of then-CEO Adam Neumann to lead the company.

Other startups that recently went public also had disappointing debuts. Peloton, the connected-fitness company, saw its shares slid 11% on its first day of trading last week. 

Shares of the ride-hailing giant, Uber, slipped more than 7% when it went public in May, and have shed about 30% since then. Shares of rival Lyft have fallen more than 40% since the company went public in April.

Got a tip about a  tech company? Contact this reporter via email at bpimentel@businessinsider.com, message him on Twitter @benpimentel. You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

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