Q1 2019 IPOs: Auditor Market Share and Stats


There were 40 initial public offerings (IPOs) in U.S. markets between January 1, 2019, and March 31, 2019. These IPOs raised over $7.7 billion for the quarter, a decrease of over $1.7 billion from last quarter and a decrease of roughly $10 billion from Q1 2018. As discussed in our previous blog, this was to be expected, as the IPO process was slowed for many companies due to the government shutdown.

As shown in the graph below, the IPO market was slower in Q1 2019 compared to Q1 2018, which had 60 IPOs and raised over $17.7 billion. Yet, in terms of IPO count, this quarter was the third highest among first quarters in the past five years. The amount raised in Q1 2019 was higher than the amount raised in Q1 2015 and 2016, but less than the amount raised in Q1 2017 and 2018.

Industry Analysis

There was one unicorn this quarter. The long-awaited IPO of Lyft, Inc. [LYFT], a Transportation Networking company in the United States, raised over $2.3 billion, topping the charts in terms of proceeds. Although $2.3 billion is the top IPO this quarter, it ranks as the 31st highest IPO in history – well below Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. [BABA], which raised $22 billion in Q3 2014 and stands as the largest IPO since 2000.

Looking at the industry breakdown, Biological Product (except Diagnostic) Manufacturing had the most transactions this quarter, with six new IPOs totaling over $535 million in aggregate proceeds. Lyft’s $2.3 billion IPO was more than four times the IPO proceeds of the Biological Product (except Diagnostic) Manufacturing industry.

Accounting and Legal Representation

The top IPO, Lyft, Inc., was audited by PwC and represented by Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, P.C. and Goodwin Procter LLP.

Auditor Market Share

The Big Four audited 17 IPOs, 42.5%, of the IPO market in Q1 2019.

As seen in the table below, Marcum led with eight IPO clients in Q1 2019, followed by Withum and EY, both with seven IPO clients each.

PwC had three IPO audit clients that, in total, raised over $3 billion, the highest amount of proceeds raised this quarter. Withum ranked second in terms of proceeds, with their clients raising over $1.4 billion, while EY ranked third, with their clients raising over $1 billion in Q1 2019.

Emerging Growth Companies

38 of the 40 IPO companies, or 95%, elected to register as emerging growth companies (“EGCs”).


Although the Q1 2019 IPO market was slower compared to Q1 2018, due in part to the recent government shutdown, IPO activity is expected to improve as the year progresses. Looking at Q2, some large players, including Lyft’s rival Uber, have either already filed for an IPO or are expected to file.

For more information on IPOs, e-mail info@auditanalytics.com or call 508-476-7007.