An IPO, or Initial Public Offering, is the process by which a private company raises capital by offering its shares to the public for the first time. In an IPO, the company hires an investment bank to underwrite the offering and help determine the share price. The shares are then offered to the public on a stock exchange or through a trading platform, and investors can buy and sell those shares.
The main goal of an IPO is for the company to raise capital to finance its growth and expansion plans, as well as provide liquidity to its shareholders, such as early investors, employees, and founders, who may want to sell their shares. An IPO also provides the company with increased visibility and credibility, which can help it attract more customers, partners, and employees.
However, going public also comes with certain obligations and regulatory requirements, including financial reporting and disclosure rules, and increased scrutiny from shareholders and the public. The process can also be expensive and time-consuming, and may require the company to give up some control over its operations and decision-making processes.