Donald Trump is going to make it rain on the unicorns.
The president-elect plans to cut the U.S. corporate tax rate to 15% from the current 35%. The move would be good for many U.S. companies. But it could be particularly good for Snap, the parent company of social networking platform Snapchat; ride hailing company Uber; lodging platform Airbnb; and a number of other unicorns. The IPO market has been particularly dry this year.
According to an analysis from Renaissance Capital, which specializes in IPOs, Trump’s policies could lead more companies with a market cap below $5 billion to go public. These companies typically face the highest U.S. corporate tax rate because they have less resources to move part, if not all of their profits into tax shelters abroad. These companies are also the ones that typically take the IPO route.
And for Uber and Airbnb, which have made moves to shelter money overseas, Trump tax policies could make them more attractive because it will likely be easier for them to move their money back from shelters overseas.
(Related: How Uber Plays the Tax Shell Game)
“[Trump’s tax plan] could open up more cash flow for companies. . .It’s a positive for the IPO market,” said Kathleen Smith, the co-founder of Renaissance Capital. That would result in higher valuations for these firms, opening the IPO flood doors, assuming Trump does implement his tax plan.
Snapchat, which derives 95% of its ad revenue from the U.S., is said to be preparing for March IPO. Office space unicorn WeWork CEO Adam Neumann has said that the firm is not scared of going public.
“Investors should not get worried about the IPO market being dead,” Smith said.
Renaissance Capital analysis though did not look into other parts of Trump’s economic plan could damage some start-ups. Silicon Valley for example has worried over how his proposed immigration reforms could drain the tech industry’s supply of skilled workers. Trump’s protectionist stance on trade could also increase expenses for companies with production chains abroad.