20 Red-Hot, Pre-IPO companies to watch in 2019 B2B tech - Part 1

Martin Veitch gives his pick of business-to-business companies yet to float

After a hiatus, it's more than time to look again at the B2B tech sector and the most interesting candidates yet to float on the public markets.

The mania for talking about unicorns appears to be dying down, thankfully, but it remains a fact that technology companies continue to be some of the most potentially attractive investments available today. And, even as internet stocks such as Google and Facebook power on, B2B offers some of the biggest beasts and scope for building sustainable businesses. Witness, for example, Microsoft, the elite enterprise software comeback kid, reinvigorated and with its market value pumped up again under the dynamic leadership of Satya Nadella.

It has become a cliché for CEOs to say that an IPO is not an exit or the end to a story but rather a staging post and that if you take care of business the rest will sort itself out. True, no doubt, but the initial public offering remains a crossroads where companies can attract publicity, reward staff and investors, and create a comfort factor for customers and prospects that will happier to do business with a company that has come that far.

This report is not a tip sheet or intended as a series of predictions as to future IPOs. Some of the companies on this list will never make it to IPO and some might have no intention of doing so, but they are companies worth watching nonetheless.

There is no deep methodology other than the fact that these are companies I have deemed interesting based on some combination of market, technology, management, investors, scale of opportunity and ability to address that opportunity. I have avoided companies that have retreated from the public markets, taken private-equity or are the result of recent splits, as these seem to me to live in another category of company.

These are all companies IDG Connect has interviewed; keep in mind that some date back a while. The report provides pen portraits and links back to longer articles. You can see previous reports here for 2014, here for 2015, and here for 2016.


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