The IPO "window" has become a six-lane highway.

The value of all companies going public on US exchanges has passed a record $1 trillion this year across 981 deals, after Rivian's upsized IPO added nearly $56 billion in exit value, according to PitchBook data.
 
 

Electric truck maker Rivian, whose stock rose 29% to close at $100.73 in its market debut on Wednesday, conducted the year's second-largest US public offering by exit value, the data showed. Rivian raised more than any other company this year in its IPO, securing $11.9 billion from institutional investors.

Rivian's valuation was surpassed only by Coinbase's $85.8 billion direct listing in April. Roblox's $45.3 billion March listing was the third-largest this year. More than a dozen companies—including UiPath, AppLovin and Toast—were valued at more than $10 billion in their public offerings in 2021. Three of those eleven-figure exits were SPAC deals: United Wholesale Mortgage, Ginkgo Bioworks and Lucid.

Nearly 17% of the year's total exit value, or $166.9 billion, has come from companies that merged with SPACs.

VC-backed startups comprised more than half of the total exit value at $618 billion. Those with private equity backing accounted for 28% of the total. A company's exit value is its valuation on the day it goes public, not counting the new funds raised or dilutive shares.

The breadth and depth of today's supersized IPOs, SPAC mergers and direct listings makes the public debuts of some contemporary tech giants seem pedestrian by comparison. Amazon was valued at $333 million in its 1997 IPO, and Tesla was worth $1.31 billion when it arrived on the Nasdaq in 2010, according to PitchBook data.

The trillion-dollar figure may even undercount the current value of 2021's pool. In the case of IPOs, share prices typically rise after they begin trading.

The IPO market has mirrored sky-high valuations of US stocks across the board. Apple and Microsoft are currently worth more than $2 trillion each, and four other US companies have at one point seen their market capitalizations surpass $1 trillion. Tesla's $1.07 trillion market capitalization factored heavily into how investors valued Rivian.

Featured image by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

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