After many, many months of investors generally keeping their hands firmly in their pockets (primarily due to factors ‘B’ and ‘C’, we’ve heard their names in full enough by now) the last quarter of 2020 saw a welcome and substantial return of IPO listings.
With the first fully formed AIM listing of the year arriving during July in the form of Elixxir International, momentum gradually grew as we headed into September. Compared to the previous 18 months it’s fair to say the floodgates opened with the arrival of the likes of Various Eateries, Calnex Solutions, Round Hill Music Royalty Fund, Kistos Energy and Bytes Technology Group to name but a few.
The advent of 2021 saw no slowing of the charge to capital markets and if anything we’ve seen a further increase in activity with the addition of even bigger names including Trustpilot and Auction Technology Group for example.
The thing with being an investor by profession is that ultimately, you have to invest: you can’t just sit on your cash or idly move it around existing companies forever. The uncertainties of life and how we live it that began in early 2020, gradually unfolded into investment opportunities as we understood the need for different solutions for the way we live. This included areas such as scientific testing solutions (Abingdon Health), mobile alternatives to handling cash (Fonix) or any technology that helps us manage our current ‘remote’ approach to work, socialising and education. With such opportunities identified it seems the investment community seized the chance to dive in.
AQSE gains momentum
And now there’s even more places to dive in as well. The newly formed Aquis Exchange has reinvigorated what we originally recall as OFEX in a way no predecessor has managed. A further slew of new issues joining their exchange as well can be seen this year along with greater access to trading AQSE stocks with the most recent example being their addition to the Interactive Investor offering. The purchase of this market from NEX for £1 combined with a lot of hard work really is looking like a cracking deal for Aquis.
Brighter IR’s role
One thing that makes us even happier at Brighter IR is all the companies I’ve mentioned in this post. We’ve helped each and every one in some way as they joined the market, whether it’s a completed market compliant corporate website such at that provided for Virgin Wines and In The Style, or our easily applied suite of ‘IR tools’ providing timely, accurate price and RNS data for client websites such as Auction Technology Group. We’re so proud to be part of this renaissance, although it does mean our feet haven’t touched the floor for quite a while!
The rest of the year…..
But will this last? Like Boris, I’m ‘led by the data’ (or should I say chatter) and it certainly appears there’s plenty more great investment stories to come throughout this year, right up to the end of it in fact. I also believe as the year progresses those sectors that have been hit hardest in recent times will be the greatest benefactors as we all open our doors and once more walk outside again. Pubs, restaurants and events already look to be in high demand as we return to the ‘roaring twenties’, and when there’s finally a free table in a beer garden I can book I look forward to toasting a return to more normal times.