Three days into 2018 and there’s already talk of the world’s biggest-ever tech IPO

As everyone gets back into their work groove, with Christmas and the New Year now merely a memory, there is already speculation that 2018 could bring the biggest tech IPO ever seen.

A story that first broke at the beginning of December regarding the potential IPO of Xiaomi on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange seems to be gathering momentum, with a number of media sites commenting on the story since the turn of the New Year.

Xiaomi, the Chinese smartphone operator, is already recognised as the world’s third-largest unicorn (a VC-backed company with a valuation greater than USD 1bn), and its VC backers include Morningside, Qiming Weichang, Hopu Investment, DST Global, Yunfeng, GIC and All Stars. The company has received several rounds of funding since being founded by Lei Jun and his partners in 2010, with its latest round back in December 2014 reportedly worth in the region of USD 1.1bn.

Just prior to the last investment in 2014 it was also the subject of rumours regarding an exit via an IPO. However, its valuation at that point was considerably lower than the valuation metrics currently being talked about. Based upon its last funding round in 2014, current valuation figures appear to be ranging from USD 50bn up to USD 100bn! Even if we were to look at the lower-end valuation, USD 50bn would still be more than double the valuation put on Alibaba (circa USD 22bn) in May 2014.

If the stories ring true, and Xiaomi does proceed with its IPO, then this would certainly be a way to see in the New Year for its shareholders.