Initial Public Offering basics

Initial Public Offering (IPO): All you need to know

An Initial Public Offering (IPO) is the process of a private company offering its shares to the public for the first time. It is a significant event for a company as it marks its transition from a privately owned entity to a publicly traded one. In this article, we will discuss the importance of an IPO, the process of applying for one, and everything else you need to know about this crucial step in a company’s growth.

Why is an IPO Important?

Access to Capital

One of the main reasons why companies go public is to raise capital. By offering shares to the public, a company can raise a significant amount of money that can be used for various purposes such as expansion, research and development, and debt repayment. This influx of capital can help a company grow and reach its full potential.

Increased Visibility and Credibility

Going public also brings a company increased visibility and credibility. By being listed on a stock exchange, a company’s name and brand become more well-known to the public. This can lead to increased interest from potential customers, partners, and investors. Additionally, being a publicly traded company can also enhance a company’s credibility and reputation, making it more attractive to potential business partners and customers.

Liquidity for Shareholders

For existing shareholders, an IPO provides an opportunity to sell their shares and realize their investment. This can be especially beneficial for early investors and employees who may have been with the company since its early stages. Going public allows them to cash out their shares and potentially make a significant profit.

Impacts of share split

What is Lot Size in an IPO?

Lot size in an Initial Public Offering (IPO) refers to the minimum number of shares that an investor can apply for in the IPO process. The lot size is predetermined by the company issuing the shares and is typically set to ensure that the shares are distributed fairly among investors and to maintain liquidity in the market.

Investors need to adhere to the specified lot size when applying for shares in an IPO. For example, if the lot size is 100 shares and an investor wants to apply for 300 shares, they would need to apply for three lots of 100 shares each.

The lot size in an IPO can vary depending on the company and the stock exchange. It is essential for investors to consider the lot size when planning their investment in an IPO to ensure they meet the minimum requirements set by the company.

Understanding the lot size in an IPO is crucial for investors as it determines the number of shares they can apply for and the total investment amount required. By following the lot size requirements, investors can participate in the IPO process and potentially benefit from the company’s growth and success.

How is IPO price determined?

The IPO price, also known as the offering price, is determined through a process known as pricing the IPO. The price is set by the company issuing the shares in consultation with the underwriters, who are investment banks responsible for managing the offering. Here is how the price is typically selected:

  1. Valuation: Before setting the IPO price, the company and its underwriters conduct a comprehensive valuation analysis to determine the value of the company and its shares. Various factors are considered in the valuation, including the company’s financial performance, growth prospects, industry comparables, and market conditions.
  2. Bookbuilding: One common method used to determine the IPO price is through a process called bookbuilding. During the bookbuilding process, the underwriters solicit interest from institutional investors and other potential buyers to gauge demand for the shares. Based on this demand, the underwriters can assess the price at which the shares are likely to be sold.
  3. Price Range: The company and its underwriters may initially announce a price range within which the final IPO price is expected to fall. This price range reflects the valuation of the company and provides an indication to potential investors about the anticipated pricing of the offering.
  4. Market Conditions: External market conditions play a significant role in determining the IPO price. Factors such as overall market sentiment, industry trends, economic conditions, and investor demand can influence the final pricing decision. The company and its underwriters closely monitor market conditions to assess the timing and appropriateness of the IPO price.
  5. Stabilization: In some cases, the underwriters may also employ stabilization techniques to support the stock price after the IPO. This can include actions such as over-allotment options (greenshoe options) to purchase additional shares at the offering price
Difference between equity mutual funds and debt mutual funds

How to Apply for an IPO

The process of applying for an IPO can vary depending on the country and stock exchange. However, here are the general steps involved in applying for an IPO:

Step 1: Research and Understand the Company

Before investing in an IPO, it is essential to research and understand the company offering the shares. This includes looking into the company’s financials, management team, industry, and growth potential. It is also crucial to understand the risks involved in investing in an IPO.

Step 2: Open a Brokerage Account

To participate in an IPO, you will need to have a brokerage account. This is where you will buy and sell shares of the company. If you do not have a brokerage account, you can open one with a reputable brokerage firm.

Step 3: Check Eligibility Requirements

Some IPOs may have eligibility requirements, such as a minimum investment amount or a specific type of investor (e.g., accredited investors). Make sure to check the eligibility requirements before proceeding with the application.

Step 4: Submit Your Application

Once you have completed the above steps, you can submit your application for the IPO. This can typically be done through your brokerage account or through the company’s website. Make sure to follow the instructions carefully and submit all required documents.

Step 5: Wait for Allocation

After the IPO application period has ended, the company will allocate shares to investors. The allocation process can vary, but it is usually based on demand and the number of shares available. If you are allocated shares, you will receive a confirmation from your brokerage firm.

Step 6: Pay for Your Shares

Once you have been allocated shares, you will need to pay for them. This can usually be done through your brokerage account. Make sure to pay for your shares within the specified timeframe to avoid losing your allocation.

Step 7: Monitor Your Investment

After the IPO, the company’s shares will begin trading on the stock exchange. You can monitor your investment through your brokerage account or by following the company’s stock price. It is essential to keep an eye on your investment and make informed decisions about buying or selling shares.

IPOs: Look at Some Famous Examples


In 2012, Facebook went public in one of the most highly anticipated IPOs in recent history. The social media giant raised $16 billion and had a market capitalization of $104 billion, making it one of the largest IPOs in history.


In 2014, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba went public on the New York Stock Exchange, raising $25 billion and becoming the largest IPO in history. The company’s stock price surged on its first day of trading, making many early investors and employees instant millionaires.


In 2019, ride-hailing company Uber went public, raising $8.1 billion and achieving a market capitalization of $82 billion. However, the company’s stock price has since declined, highlighting the risks involved in investing in an IPO.


An IPO is a significant event for a company, and it can have a significant impact on its growth and success. By going public, a company gains access to capital, increased visibility and credibility, and liquidity for shareholders. If you are interested in investing in an IPO, make sure to research and understand the company, open a brokerage account, and follow the application process carefully. And remember, investing in an IPO comes with risks, so make sure to make informed decisions and monitor your investment closely.

Anupam Kundu
A professional blogger and an IT freak. The atypical combo of a Civil Service aspirant and a Tech enthusiast.