Techlandia Issue 5- 2021/2022 - Page 40

Skip Talks IPOs

Technology Association of Oregon CEO & President Skip Newberry offers his insight on the recent mini-boom of IPOs in Oregon and SW Washington.

nLight, which designs and manufactures semiconductor laser products, was the first tech company in the region to go public since 2004, breaking a long dry spell.  Following nLight’s IPO in 2018, two other companies—also based in Vancouver—followed suit.  First was Zoominfo in 2020, followed by Absci earlier this year.  The second half of 2021 has been dominated by Oregon companies preparing to go public. 

ZoomInfo

Vancouver-based Zoominfo debuted as tech’s largest IPO of 2020. Bought by and merged with DiscoverOrg back in 2019, Zoominfo is focused on B2B marketing and sales intelligence and grew remarkably in the two years before going public. In the past year, Zoominfo has acquired a handful of companies, including Chorus.ai.

Absci

Vancouver-based biotech company Absci engineers living organisms to make therapeutics. In the first half of 2021, Absci acquired two companies, Totient and artificial intelligence startup, Donovium, before going public in July.  Originally part of the Oregon Bioscience Incubator and the Portland State Business Accelerator, Absci is now valued at $2 billion. 

Dutch Bros

Founded in Grants Pass, Oregon, in 1992, Dutch Bros now has more than 400 locations in eleven states. When the company went public in September 2021, it was Oregon’s first substantial IPO in more than 17 years

ESS

Wilsonville battery maker ESS is set to merge with special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) ACON S2 Acquisition Corp. in early October 2021, transforming it into a publicly-traded company. Part of a growing cluster of clean-tech companies in Oregon, ESS produces iron-electrolyte flow batteries that are non-flammable, non-toxic, and created using abundant and low-cost materials.

Vacasa

Portland-based vacation rental management company Vacasa plans to go public in 2021 in a deal that would place it among Oregon’s most highly-valued companies. After successfully navigating a tumultuous 2020, Vacasa is growing rapidly. Rather than take the traditional IPO route, Vacasa plans to merge with SPAC TPG Pace Solutions.