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Q4 2019 IPOs: Auditor Market Share and Stats


There were 59 initial public offerings in U.S. markets between October 1, 2019, and December 31, 2019. These 59 IPOs raised over $8.7 billion, a decrease of over $800 million from the same period last year and a decrease of over $4 billion from last quarter.

On an annual basis, there were 231 U.S. IPOs in 2019, which raised over $63 billion in funds. As shown in the graph below, IPO activity in 2019 was the second highest in terms of amount raised and IPO count since 2015.

Industry Analysis

There was one unicorn this quarter: XP Inc. [XP], a Brazilian investment management company. XP raised the most among all IPOs this quarter – totaling $1.9 billion, the fifth largest IPO amount in 2019.

All told, there were 10 unicorns this year:

  • Uber Technologies, Inc [UBER]
  • Slack Technologies, Inc. [WORK]
  • Avantor, Inc. [AVTR]
  • Lyft, Inc. [LYFT]
  • XP Inc. [XP]
  • Pinterest, Inc. [PINS]
  • SmileDirectClub, Inc. [SDC]
  • Peloton Interactive, Inc. [PTON]
  • Tradeweb Markets Inc. [TW]
  • Chewy, Inc. [CHWY]

Accounting and Legal Representation

The top IPO this quarter, XP Inc., was represented by Davis Polk & Wardwell and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. We are unable to determine the Company’s auditor at this time.1

The top IPO this year, Uber Technologies, Inc [UBER], a transportation networking company, was audited by PwC and represented by Cooley, Covington & Burling, and Davis Polk & Wardwell.

Auditor Market Share

The Big Four audited 27 IPOs (45.8% of the IPO market) in Q4 2019 and 126 IPOs (54.5% of the IPO market) for the year.

Marcum had 11 IPO audit clients –  the most for all firms in Q4 –  raising $1.60 billion. PwC and EY each had 10 IPO clients, raising $1.53 billion and $1.11 billion, respectively. In terms of amount raised, Withum followed PwC with seven IPO audit clients, raising $1.19 billion.

As shown in the table below, EY had a cumulative total of 44 IPO clients –  the most for all firms in 2019 –  followed by Marcum with 34 IPO clients. In terms of proceeds, PwC’s 30 clients raised the highest amount, in aggregate, totaling over $15.9 billion, followed by Deloitte, also with 30 IPO clients, raising $10.2 billion this year.

Emerging Growth Companies

In Q4 2019, 58 of the 59 IPO companies, or 98.3%, elected to register as emerging growth companies (EGCs).

In 2019, 217 of the 231 IPO companies, or 93.9%, elected to register as EGCs.


The IPO market had a slow start at the beginning of 2019, in part due to the government shutdown; geopolitical tensions also had an impact on the IPO market in the later part of 2019. Despite this, IPO activity in 2019 was still the second highest in terms of amount raised and IPO count in the last five years. Be sure to check for our updates on the IPO market throughout 2020.

Data from this analysis came from the IPO database, powered by Audit Analytics.
For more information on this database, or our other databases, please contact us.

1. The audit opinion contained in the registration statement for XP Inc. references “XP Investimentos S.A. and its subsidiaries.” Per our methodology, we do not consider the opinion applicable to the Company, as it does not specifically reference XP Inc.

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