SmartRecruiters Blog

Know the Best Time to Go IPO, and Other Advice from NASDAQ Top Brass

A professional watcher of startups, an obsessive once he sniffs the possibility of hypergrowth, there is no one better be able to read what’s coming on the far side of an IPO

From his Stockholm office at the top of the continent, Nasdaq’s Adam Kostyál, senior vice president of listing services, oversees the comings and goings of tech firms across European markets. In addition to Nasdaq Nordic Exchanges, where there are more than 800 companies listed, Adam is also responsible for the more than 120 European companies that are either primarily listed or dual listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market in the US. As a warm-up for his session at Hiring Success 18 Europe, Kostyál drops some knowledge on what he knows best.

How long have you been with Nasdaq, and what was the process that landed you in this position?

I have been at Nasdaq for approximately 10 years. Prior to listings for the Nordic region, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, I was heading up our technology business covering the same region. It has been exciting to step into a completely different role and to develop it further.

What have been some of the most noticeable trends in tech markets this year?

The most noticeable from my perspective is that many companies chose to stay private longer, prior to doing an IPO. This is mainly driven by the surplus of available funding in private markets. This was maybe not as surprising but clearly, the appetite to invest in tech growth companies has dramatically increased. The positive thing is that more and more European funds have established themselves.

Do you think European tech offerings will grow, and by how much?

I believe, day by day, the investment rounds in Europe will move closer and closer to the ones in the US in terms of size.

What is something you’re having difficulty figuring out right now?

I have a hard time figuring out the roadmap and future of Bitcoin.

What is something that’s exciting to you right now?

AI will revolutionize so many sectors and how we solve many issues. At the same time, it’s scary to contemplate the impact if used with the wrong intention.

What advice do you have for a European tech firm wanting to do an IPO?

I would recommend European tech firms to understand what it would take to offer an IPO and to prepare step by step. This will benefit them by improving internal processes, and will also put them in a better position to leverage the IPO.

Is there a right time to do an IPO in Europe, and what are the most favorable conditions?

A good company can always IPO but there are better times than others. Key factors that have to be taken into consideration are:

  • Low volatility
  • Low-interest rates pushing up the value of equity overall
  • Predictable growth business

Most of all, make sure to choose the market that serves you the best and allows you to maximize the value of the IPO beyond valuation in terms of visibility, liquidity, etc.

Peter Braun