Private companies climbed over one another to go public in 2020 to grab all the money on offer in a hot share market.
But with such a wide range in quality, some did better than others after listing on the ASX.
"Some [were] taking advantage of a short term boost to profits from COVID. With the market placing high valuation multiples on some of these sectors, they got the double benefit of high valuation multiples on cyclically high profits," Prime Value portfolio manager Richard Ivers told The Motley Fool last week.
"Others were high quality businesses with a solid long term outlook."
Sudden share price spikes in the early life of ASX shares don't necessarily equate to long-term investment worth.
But it's still interesting to look at which initial public offerings (IPOs) performed the best last year after listing. It indicates confidence from investors that the company has some sort of future.
The Motley Fool has picked out the six newly listed companies which delivered the highest share price gains in 2020. (Mining companies, often speculative, have been excluded from the rankings.)
Douugh Ltd (ASX: DOU): 467% return
This fintech has gone gangbusters since listing in October. Investors lucky enough to pay 3 cents per share during the IPO saw the Douugh share price end the year off at 17 cents.
Douugh has an eponymous smartphone app that helps users use artificial intelligence to "simplify" everyday banking. It analyses spending, pays bills, and helps customers reach savings goals.
The company also has a partnership with Mastercard Inc (NYSE: MA) to issue virtual debit cards under that badge.
Douugh shares have been in a trading halt since before market open on 21 December, pending an announcement regarding an acquisition.
Cosol Ltd (ASX: COS): 290% return
Cosol is a technology services provider, specialising in enterprise asset management systems.
It managed to list in January before COVID-19 really struck Australia with an IPO price of 20 cents per share. Shares in the Brisbane business sold for 78 cents when the trading year ended.
The company revealed at its annual general meeting in November that it had won contracts with big clients like the Australian Defence Force and Energy Queensland.
4DMedical Ltd (ASX: 4DX): 233% return
Another technology company, 4DMedical is the inventor of a medical imaging system called XV Lung Ventilation Analysis Software. The business reaps revenue from both software and hardware.
4DMedical sold shares for 73 cents a piece during its IPO. The 4DMedical share price has taken off since its float on the ASX in August, trading at $2.43 at the end of 2020.
The Melbourne and Los Angeles-based firm received approval for its technology from the Therapeutic Goods Administration in September, and scanned its first commercial patient in December.
Playside Studios (ASX: PLY): 130% return
Playside Studios is an electronic games maker. The company sold for 20 cents a share during its IPO but after less than a month of ASX trading it ended the year at 46 cents.
Read about Playside's work in our 3 mammoth IPOs of 2020.
Credit Clear Ltd (ASX: CCR): 113% return
You can see by now there is a definite theme among the highest-returning IPO shares in 2020.
Credit Clear is yet another tech provider that sells accounts receivables software. The app provides the payer with an option for paying in instalments and allows the payee to access business intelligence about its customers.
After selling for 35 cents during its IPO, the Credit Clear share price surged 133% in just its first week on the ASX in October.
It has somewhat moderated now but still went for a very nice 74.5 cents when the year closed.
Aussie Broadband Ltd (ASX: ABB): 99% return
Aussie Broadband is an internet services provider, mainly selling NBN plans.
The company deliberately markets itself as a premium provider, pointing out its superior speed, bandwidth and Australian customer service call centre.
The Victorian company sold its IPO shares for $1 a piece, including to some lucky customers. When it floated on 16 October, Aussie Broadband's market capitalisation was $190 million.
Now, with the Aussie Broadband share price doubling in just two months, it is using the capital raised to build its own dark fibre network. This means in the long term it will no longer have to pay lease fees to Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS).
"It also means we can connect businesses directly to our own fibre. So we're not paying the NBN or someone else for those services," Aussie Broadband managing director Phillip Britt told The Motley Fool back in September.
"We've got some fairly lofty ambitions. The capital markets was the obvious way to raise cash to do what we want to do."