Inside money, markets, and big tech

3 tech stocks that surged in price this year — but didn’t get much attention

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While the broad S&P 500 index hasn’t fully recovered yet from the coronavirus-induced crash — it’s still trailing its all-time high by about 9% — the tech focused NASDAQ-100 has already hit a new record. On June 5, it broke its February 19 high of 9,718 points, and it currently resides above 10,000.

But while most attention is focused on the FAANGs and MAGAs — the largest tech companies by market capitalization, like Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Alphabet, and Facebook — an undercurrent of public tech companies with values around $10 billion instead of $1 trillion has been making the biggest moves to the upside. That is, if you focus on stock price changes.

Now, many of these have had plenty of attention, both from the media and general public. They’re active in ecommerce (e.g. Shopify), streamlining working from home (e.g. DocuSign with its digital signatures and contracts solutions), and cyber security (e.g. Zscaler, CrowdStrike), for example.

Yet some publicly listed tech companies have miraculously stayed somewhat under the general public’s radar despite their astronomical surges this year. We combined stock data with Google Trends’ web search interest data to identify them. And we found one surprising overarching theme. Let’s go through them.

Bill.com (BILL) – Up 120% year-to-date

Bill.com is a provider of cloud-based software that digitizes and automates payments for small and midsize businesses.

Its stock has surged from $38.70 to $85 so far this year, after hitting a corona-induced low of $29 in March. It’s currently got a market cap of $6.5 billion.

Its search interest pre and post the corona crash are at similar levels, when we compare them on trends.google.com using the search phrase ‘BILL stock‘.

Coupa Software (COUP) – Up 70% year-to-date

Coupa is another tech company active in the area of business payments management, but it is much more focused on larger companies. In 2017, it also launched a new cloud-based product called Coupa On Demand for small and midsize companies.

Its stock has jumped from $153.57 to $262 so far this year, after hitting a corona-induced low of $109 in March. It’s currently got a market cap of $17.5 billion.

Its search interest pre and post the corona crash are also at relatively similar levels, when we compare them on trends.google.com using the search phrase ‘COUP stock‘.

Avalara (AVLR) – Up 60% year-to-date

Avalara is also a financial software provider. It’s known for its sales tax automation software, which helps businesses achieve compliance related to sales tax, VAT, excise tax, and other indirect taxes.

Its stock has risen from $78.05 to $124 so far this year, after hitting a corona-induced low of $58 in March. It’s currently got a market cap of almost $10 billion.

Its search interest pre and post the corona crash haven’t changed, when we compare them on trends.google.com using the search phrase ‘AVLR stock’.

So, there you have it. Tech companies providing financial software solutions to small, midsize, and large corporations are the ones surging so far this year without getting much attention from the broader public.

Perhaps their products aren’t the most in the public eye or the sexiest, but behind-the-scenes their usage is surging. Therefore, their revenues and stock prices are surging as well, in the hope of one day becoming massively profitable companies. Yes, caution is warranted when trading these companies, as none of them turn a net profit yet.

Published June 22, 2020 — 15:24 UTC