Setting aside the recent fallout in almost every asset class due to the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic, cryptocurrencies have left a permanent mark on mainstream society. One of the top — if not the top — investment category of 2021, cryptos have garnered immense support not only for their remarkable returns but also their paradigm-shifting accessibility.
Along with the skyrocketing of individual coins and tokens, the concept of decentralization has gone viral. Rather than relying on a third-party intermediary, the blockchain technology that undergirds virtual currencies has proven that financial and property transactions can occur independently of centralized authorities. Logically, this novel directive facilitates both convenience and cost savings to the end-user.
Running parallel with crypto-based innovations, the financial technology (fintech) sector delivered similar benefits to mainstream monetary institutions. Among the most groundbreaking solutions derived from this primordial germination is the neobank, a firm that offers financial services exclusively through the internet, thereby saving costs to clients and enabling more favorable products, such as interest-yielding accounts with superior returns.
Despite a record year for companies launching an initial public offering (IPO), Nu Holdings Ltd, doing business as Nubank — a Brazil-based neobank — stands poised to deliver one of the most highly engaged opportunities of this year.
When Is the Nubank IPO Date?
Across all major business media outlets, the upcoming Nubank IPO dominates the collective print. Thanks to an incredibly lucrative primary market backdrop and strong support from some of the world’s biggest institutional investors, seemingly everyone has the same question: when can I participate in this public market debut?
Like an anxious child watching the days tick toward Christmas, retail investors will have to exercise patience as Nubank has yet to set an official date on the IPO calendar. Nevertheless, you can stay off the naughty list through performing due diligence. Should you want to add this neobank to your portfolio, Freedom Finance offers pre-IPO access for interested retail buyers, details of which you will find near the end of this article.
Although a firm launch date was not available at time of writing, Nubank is likely eager to get the ball rolling. Back in August of this year, PYMNTS.com reported that the company was preparing an IPO, at the time estimated to be worth more than $2 billion. On Nov. 1, Nubank filed its Form F-1 prospectus with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
From the disclosure, management revealed that shares will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol NU. Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) and NuInvest represent the lead underwriters for the offering.
On balance, the evidence points to NU stock making its debut before the end of this year. For prospective investors, the timing brings up a host of intriguing and risky outside factors. On the positive end of the spectrum, investing fervor has spread like wildfire, according to an op-ed from The Wall Street Journal. Certainly, IPOs benefitted from the heightened ecosystem.
More importantly, the concept of decentralization has become the go-to topic of the year, from watercooler conversations to serious mulling by the Federal Reserve. While neobanks don’t represent complete decentralization from monetary establishments, they do disentangle themselves from the hegemony of physical locations, thus facilitating convenient, on-demand banking with superior cost profiles and financial programs.
However, the drawback of the upcoming debut of NU stock is that investors may be feeling jittery about the capital markets. With the benchmark S&P 500 having gained 27% year-to-date and more than doubling since the 2020 doldrums, the smart money may decide to book some profits.
Nubank Financial History
Although interested buyers of NU stock don’t have all the details ready, the financial component of this IPO is what has whetted investors’ appetite. According to Nubank’s regulatory filing, the company plans to sell approximately 289 million shares at a price range between $10 and $11 per unit. Should it hit the higher end of the estimate spectrum, Nubank will raise nearly $3.2 billion.
At that size, based on a Reuters report, “the flotation will rank as one of the biggest of the year in the U.S.” The news agency cited comparable public market offerings in Coupang Inc. (NYSE: CPNG), DiDi Global Inc. (NYSE: DIDI) and GlobalFoundries (NASDAQ: GFS) — the latter IPO which Benzinga covered last month.
Under a successful deal, Nubank is targeting a valuation of over $50 billion. To put this extraordinary metric into perspective, should the company achieve this goal, it will leapfrog Itau Unibanco (NYSE: ITUB), which of this writing has a market capitalization of $38.2 billion.
Previously, Nubank commanded a market cap of approximately $30 billion, following a funding round on June 8 of this year. None other than Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.B) led the proceedings, which amounted to a total raise of $750 million. Overall, private equity records show that the neobank has been attracting investor capital since June 2, 2015, amassing around $2.3 billion.
To be fair, such gargantuan support presents a mixture of pros and cons. Intuitively, comfort exists in numbers. With so many high-profile investors putting their money into NU stock, acquiring pre-IPO shares might be a worthwhile venture. Further, research from the Wilson Center indicates that fintech innovations are exploding in Latin America.
A unique combination of the COVID-19 pandemic, burgeoning e-commerce activities, increased integration of mobile devices and a broadly favorable population pyramid — as in more younger people than older folks — provides an excellent opportunity for Nubank to extract powerful synergies from its core geographic market.
However, investors should also be aware that the winning horse is not always the best horse. As in anything in life, too much hype and anticipation can result in disappointments — think Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.
Still, the market will be the ultimate arbiter of NU stock. Naturally, investors will not ignore the massive growth, where Nubank nearly doubled revenue to $1.06 billion in the 9 months ending Sept. 30. Still, you shouldn’t ignore the widening losses to $99.1 million from $64.4 million, either.
Although China tends to be the darling of emerging market investors, the eastern hemisphere is rapidly becoming a geopolitical hotspot. Additionally, Chinese neighbor and ally Russia recently sparked red flags of its own with a troop buildup in its border with Ukraine.
It’s tough to do business in such an environment.
In sharp contrast, Latin America provides a much more geopolitically reliable partner than China and similar international markets. No, the U.S. relationship with Latin America is not perfect. Nevertheless, as regional neighbors, cooperation between the 2 sectors is robust and based on shared economic interests and incentives. Therefore, NU stock enjoys organic tailwinds that you don’t always find in other IPOs.
However, that doesn’t mean you should engage Nubank without careful deliberation. Currently, the organic tailwind argument will likely encounter challenges with the new strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Although experts don’t know much about the variant, international markets along with U.S. equity futures have tumbled over concerns about a resurgent pandemic.
How to Buy Nubank IPO (NU) Stock
Those who truly believe in the Nubank story should consider applying for pre-IPO shares. Otherwise, if you know how to buy stocks, you can opt to acquire them at the open. For a quick recap, consult the below steps.
Step 1: Pick a brokerage.
Modern brokerages compel investors with similar cost structures. Therefore, you can narrow your list of best brokers to platforms that ideally suit your needs.
Step 2: Decide how many shares you want.
IPOs are incredibly risky, even the ones featuring institutional support. Therefore, you should elect a balanced share count.
Step 3: Choose your order type.
Before trading, understand these market concepts.
- Bid: The buyer’s best offer for a stock.
- Ask: The seller’s lowest acceptable price.
- Spread: The difference between the bid-ask price, the spread indicates market risk as this is also the profit margin for market makers.
- Limit order: Buy or sell requests at a predetermined price, limit orders provide transparency but no execution guarantees.
- Market order: Market orders guarantee fulfillment but only at the current rate.
- Stop-loss order: Stop-loss orders automatically exit your position at either a predetermined price or anything lower.
- Stop-limit order: Stop-limit orders only leave positions at a specified price, but they also carry non-fulfillment risks.
Step 4: Execute your trade.
Follow these steps to execute a market order:
- Select your action type (buy or sell).
- Enter the shares you want to acquire (or sell).
- Hit the Buy (or Sell) button.
Follow the same sequence for limit orders (but include your execution price).
NU Restrictions for Retail Investors
Review the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) rules on restricted persons before participating in an IPO. Don’t invest in companies in which you have privileged information to avoid scrutiny from regulators.
For those interested in buying NU stock at its initial offering price, Freedom Finance offers pre-IPO access. To participate, you must sign up for a membership and submit an application request. The filing deadline is Dec. 8, 2021.
Right IPO at the Wrong Time?
Although social equity advocates argued throughout the decades about enhancing inclusivity, it was only through the advent of fintech solutions like neobanks that such initiatives appear plausible. Thus, NU stock enjoys incredible potential. Still, prospective investors need to watch recent headlines very carefully, as a resurgent pandemic could deflate capital market sentiment.