An IPO, or initial public offering, is a process of a company moving from private ownership (owned by its founders, financial backers and employees) to a public company, popularly referred to as going public. When a company is public, its shares are listed on a share market for anyone (i.e the public) to buy and sell.
During an IPO, a company creates new shares to sell in order to raise money. These shares are typically sold to a select group of institutional investors - this access has historically been one of the advantages institutions have over everyday investors. The good news is that investing platforms like Hatch are working hard to level the playing field - in a New Zealand first, Hatch now makes it possible for Kiwis to participate in IPOs too.