According to Stockpile, a website that lets people buy stock in the form of gift cards and purchase fractional shares of companies, Millennials are showing a great deal of enthusiasm for two highly anticipated tech initial public offerings (IPO).
The upcoming public debuts of European music streaming service Spotify and cloud-based file-sharing platform Dropbox have generated a surge of emails from young customers who are hoping to gain information on when they can purchase shares of the tech firms, the popular stock trading app told CNBC. (See also: Millennials Struck Out With Stock Picks in 2017.)
Young Investors Loyal to 'Buy What You Know' Strategy
Stockpile indicated that the only other IPO to receive this type of buzz was Silicon Valley's disappearing photo and video sharing platform owner Snap Inc. (SNAP), which started trading on the NYSE in March 2017 at an IPO price of $17. Shares of the social media company surged 44% on their first day and another 20% on the second day, yet have faced severe downward pressure on fears such as monetization problems and rising competition from players such as Facebook Inc.'s (FB) Instagram.
On Stockpile, users put in orders, but cannot enter at the IPO price or at any point during the first day. Customers' orders will clear at the end of the day, with the option for users to cancel before the orders go through if they decide that prices have risen or fallen by too much. Any investor that got in after SNAP’s first day on the market is currently down over 30%.
On a broader theme, Stockpile's comments give evidence to the trend that Millennials and younger traders are more likely to buy what they know. As younger investors get into trading through speculative assets such as cryptocurrency and weed stocks and flock to brands that they know best, such as Apple Inc. (AAPL), Tesla Inc. (TSLA) and Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN), these firm's prices get a boost. Spotify and Dropbox resonate with Stockpile's users, in which two thirds are under age 35, because they use them all the time, said the trading platform's CEO, Avi Lele.
Tech as Utilities
Spotify, the leader in the music streaming space, faces heightened competition from rivals such as Pandora Media Inc. (P), and the Apple Music store, as the smartphone maker doubles down on its software and services segment to offset slowing smartphone demand. At the helm of the industry, Spotify champions see the company as best positioned to take advantage of the fact that consumers, particularly Millennials, are becoming increasingly willing and accustomed to pay monthly subscriptions for "key tech utilities" such as Netflix Inc. (NFLX) and Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Office 365. The company's offering in early April will not gave underwriters that will set a price ahead of time.
Dropbox, which lists over 500 million users and employs a "freemium" software-as-a-service (SaaS) model is scheduled to start trading on Friday at $20 per share, based on the lifted price range. Retail investors will have to hold off until a limited number of institutional investors buy in at that level. (See also: Apple Music Challenges Spotify Ahead of IPO.)