IPO

It’s nearly a year since Deliveroo’s highly anticipated IPO took place with a share price of 390p.

This morning the online food delivery company’s share price stands at 128p, making it one of the world’s most disastrous IPOs.

The case of Deliveroo highlights that UK tech IPOs aren’t guaranteed to be a success.

One that has been a success is Northcoders, the Manchester-headquartered independent provider of training programmes for software coding,  which underwent a much smaller IPO in 2021.

The company offers a range of training and software development solutions to individual and corporate customers, including ‘bootcamp’ training courses, government-funded apprenticeships, bespoke training courses and software development solutions.

When Northcoders floated it was valued at £12.5m but now has a market cap of £20m.

Speaking at TechBlast’s latest Going 4 Growth roundtable the company’s chief commercial officer Amy Wild says the IPO has worked for them.

‘Why an IPO was right for musicMagpie’ – Steve Oliver

“The IPO gave us a lot of brand visibility as well as the investment that came from that which has enabled us to grow,” she says.

“An IPO is not an easy process to go through, especially if you’re a relatively small company. We had 24 staff 18 months ago but we’re at 75 now.

“Once you’ve done an IPO there is a lot of corporate governance involved and auditing so companies considering going down that route must do their research first.”

Reason for IPO

In an earlier interview with TechBlast, Northcoders’ CEO Chris Hill says one of the chief reasons for going down the IPO route was loyalty to his colleagues.

“For me, the reason to IPO was to create a market for those people’s shares,” he says. “We wanted to give out as many shares to people as we could. As we grow, they’ll be able to see their shares growing with it.”

Explaining the company’s growth Wild says: “We’re in an area where our product is in such high demand. I don’t think there’s an excuse for poor market research these days.

“The skills gap in the UK with regard to digital skills has worked in our favour. Covid-19 meant that instead of an in-person teaching environment we launched ourselves as a remote teaching environment.”

Northcoders now offer a mix of remote and in-person learning.

“It means we can drop our service into any city in the UK and that’s what we’re doing,” she says.

“We’ve got Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle and Birmingham  and we have a number of target areas where we are looking to launch extra hubs.”