The novel coronavirus outbreak is putting a damper on companies’ efforts to go public.
Household services provider 58 Home has delayed its initial public offering (IPO) in the U.S. due to a lack of customer demand amid the spreading coronavirus epidemic, joining the ranks of firms halting plans to list shares amid the outbreak, Bloomberg reported Thursday, citing sources familiar with the matter.
58 Home has also failed to close a funding round, which it started late last year in preparation for the planned IPO that could value it at as much as $2 billion, the sources told Bloomberg. The IPO was scheduled to take place in the first half of 2020.
According to Bloomberg, customer demand for 58 Home services such as part-time cleaners and home handymen has weakened as people avoid personal contact to minimize the probability of being infected with the disease, which has so far caused more than 1,300 deaths in China.
In an effort to reassure its customers, 58 Home has added a new feature on its app allowing clients to select and interview domestic helpers online, and has established an early-warning system to track its workers’ travel history, according to a company statement.
58 Home’s last private funding round took place in 2015, when it raised $300 million from investors including Alibaba and Ping An Group.
On Wednesday, Japanese restaurant chain Daikiya suspended plans for a Hong Kong IPO because the coronavirus outbreak hindered its major IPO preparation work, the South China Morning Post reported.
Contact reporter Ding Yi (firstname.lastname@example.org)