Like many technology companies, that would be a lofty valuation. Palantir is already emerging as a leader in the industry, too. There is another issue: These include component products, chemicals, and real estate management and development.
2019 IPOs to Watch, No. 2: Palantir
Now, Uber's working to develop self-driving vehicles to carry fare-paying passengers, a move that could change transportation as we know it. But there are some hitches in Uber's plans. The company has been trying to pull itself out of three major controversies. Kalanick reportedly ignored complaints of sexual harassment at the company while other reports publicized his abrasive behavior.
That included a video of him screaming at an Uber driver. The new CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, is tasked with turning around the company's public image and internal culture ahead of a public offering. Second — and another big obstacle for Khosrowshahi — is dealing with the legal battles stemming from Uber's cutthroat style of business. Uber just settled a lawsuit that Alphabet Inc.
GOOGL brought against the company alleging Uber stole intellectual property for self-driving cars from a Google engineer. Google is competing with Uber in developing a commercially viable autonomous vehicle. Now, Uber has to contend with a Department of Justice investigation into Uber's practices of evading law enforcement.
Some places banned Uber or had strict regulations on ride-for-hire companies that kept Uber from operating. Some cities, including Seattle, have alleged Uber developed software called "Greyball" meant to disguise Uber's operation in their cities and mislead law enforcement. Even with the setbacks, Khosrowshahi is still eyeing a IPO date, so this still has the potential to be the blockbuster IPO we're all expecting.
You might not know much about the second company on our list. Its business is highly secretive, which has helped it fly under the radar. Palantir was co-founded by Peter Thiel in and develops software to analyze "big data," the sprawling data sets too big for most commercial software to compute. That may not sound like the most exciting business, but there's nothing boring about the value of the big data trend.
Companies are realizing how much they can learn about their business by using software to analyze their data, whether it's insurance companies identifying new risk indicators or government intelligence agencies mining their troves of reports for patterns.
And with the growth of the Internet, troves of new data are created almost daily. FB mines its users daily usage to deliver custom advertisements. Every click, like, comment, and even the time spent on a page is analyzed by machine learning algorithms to develop targeted advertisements.
Palantir is already emerging as a leader in the industry, too. Palantir's analytics helped the U. The Wall Street Journal reports Palantir is slated to go public in the second half of , but it's possible the company will remain private.
As companies seek to create more data to analyze, personal privacy has become a major advocacy issue. Facebook has been mired in a scandal over personal data being handed over to Cambridge Analytica during the election, while the EU just passed the General Data Protection Regulation GDPR that regulates how digital companies can collect and use information on their users.
Privacy advocates have even protested at Palantir's headquarters in Silicon Valley. Airbnb has disrupted the travel and lodging industry much the same way Uber has disrupted transportation. Airbnb allows users to list their homes, apartments, or rooms for short-term rentals. Guests reserve the rooms and pay online. The model allows for Airbnb to get a cut of every rental without having to own and maintain the individual properties.
It also means guests can find a place to stay when traveling without paying a premium price for a hotel. Over million people in countries have used Airbnb already, and there are over 4 million active listings. And it's been massively lucrative.
That valuation could go even higher before a public offering, especially since the start-up is already profitable, a rarity even among the unicorns. Airbnb's profitability and billions in revenue should allay concerns over the company's regulatory hurdles. Some cities are concerned Airbnb threatens revenue or could drive down property values if quiet, non-commercial neighborhoods become flooded with travelers each weekend.
Plus, hotel interest groups are not happy the upstart has avoided paying tourism taxes or abiding by zoning regulations hotels must meet.
A widespread crackdown on Airbnb could threaten the company's bottom line. But with over 81, cities with Airbnb listings, it's unlikely to put a dent in the company.
That's not to mention the potential consumer backlash. And even though Lyft has played little brother to Uber since it was founded in , it's avoided Uber's scandals. Uber's troubles have helped boost Lyft's market share over the last two years. Lyft's growth coming at just the right time could make it the better bet in , when it potentially debuts on public markets in March or April.
See my comments on these top stocks below. Tesla TSLA is ramping up a mass production of electric cars that buyers love and that will propel the stock to news highs in The bears have always argued Tesla stock is worthless but new high after new high, they are always proven wrong.
Elon Musk wants to turn Tesla profitable in so short sellers will be buying the shares back and likely chasing the momentum. We should also hear an update on the Tesla Semi and Model Y in Tesla has a bright future so it is important not to get discouraged by volatility. By the time good things are happening, TSLA stock will be much higher and you will have missed the great opportunity.
Why is TNA my top stock pick for ? The stock continues to outperform and beat the major averages year after year. If you don't know what TNA is about, it consists of futures contracts of the Russell but triple leverage.