How Does Uber’s $8.1B IPO Compare to the Largest ICOs?

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Uber priced its public offering on Thursday at $45 a share, valuing the company at $82.4B. Its long-anticipated IPO raised some $8.1B, but how does it square up against the largest ICOs in history? 

Uber recently went public to the excitement of many investors. Although valued at the lower end of the company’s expectation at $82.4B, the tech behemoth is nonetheless the third largest company ever to go public. Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce company, and Facebook are the only two companies that exceeded Uber when they went public — valued at $168B and $104B respectively.

Uber’s IPO managed to raise $8.1B. However, how does this compare to some of the largest ICOs in the cryptocurrency space?

Comparing Uber’s $8.1B IPO to the Largest ICOs

The ICO craze definitely hit its height in 2017, but the hype continued well into 2018. Although 2017 was the best year for ICOs in total, many of the most popular ICOs by amount raised occurred in 2018.

Although investors are less likely today to put their money towards ICOs, the impact of ICOs can’t be understated. They were, after all, partly responsible for putting cryptocurrencies on the map in 2017. Recently, investors have been looking more closely at security token offerings (STOs) as a more legally-compliant alternative to ICOs.

The cryptocurrency world has its fair share of ICOs, but none of them even come close to Uber’s whopping $8.1B IPO. Let’s compare:

  1. EOS tops the list with its year-long ICO that raised $4.2B from 2017 to 2018. The largest ICO by far, the project has been subject to persistent criticism over uncertainty as to how the funds will be spent and whether such a large amount was even necessary.
  2. Telegram comes second with its ICO which raised $1.7B in 2018. The token has not yet been made public, but the company plans to shift its already-popular messaging service to a blockchain-based system.
  3. Petro raised some $735M during its ICO in 2018. The Petro was a cryptocurrency released by the Venezuelan government said to be backed by the country’s oil reserves. The status of the token is today largely unknown and it should be noted that the funds raised may not even be legitimate.
  4. TaTaTu raised $575M during its ICO in 2018, but the project can pretty much be called a scam. It marketed itself as ‘social entertainment on the blockchain’ with an alleged development deal with Johnny Depp, but has had astronomical losses since its release.
  5. Dragon raised $420M during its ICO in 2018, but this token is also a scam. The token is reportedly linked to organized crime according to the South China Morning Post but was intended to fund the Dragon casino.


There’s one thing all of these ICOs have in common — they’re shrouded in mystery at best. With the exception of EOS (debatable), all of these projects have fallen off the map completely.

TaTaTu and Dragon have disappeared with non-existent future plans, and the Petro may as well be called a failed experiment. Telegram has also been suspiciously quiet about its own ICO, so there’s room for skepticism there as well. Overall, the ICO space is fraught with scams and the largest ones are no exception.

Given that even the largest ICOs pale in comparison to Uber’s IPO, one can only imagine how massive future STOs will be once the blockchain industry matures.

Do you believe Uber is overvalued? Can token offerings ever reach the levels of IPOs? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. 


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Raised in the U.S, Lucian graduated with a BA in economic history. An accomplished freelance journalist, he specializes in writing about the cryptocurrency space and the digital '4th industrial revolution' we find ourselves in. <a href="">Email.</a>

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