This story has been updated to reflect Feb. 4, 2015 closing prices.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Getting in at the offering price on a hot IPO may prove difficult -- if not impossible -- for the majority of retail investors. That doesn't mean there aren't gains to be made once the stock is publicly traded -- if you buy at the right time.
Last year was a record-breaking year for initial public offerings in terms of deal size and number of deals, with Lending Club (LC) - Get Report and Alibaba (BABA) - Get Report , as the top two IPOs in 2014.
TheStreet analyzed how much retail investors would have gained if they had invested in some of the best performing IPOs of the year. With the help of data provided by Dealogic, we took the top 20 best-performing IPOs (as per their offer price compared to recent trading) and calculated the stocks' performances based on first-day trading low to current price.
Not surprisingly, biopharmaceutical and biotech companies dominate the list, but there are other companies, such as those taking advantage of the digital boom to develop new and interesting technologies for personal and commercial use.
Here's the top 14 on the list.
GoPro makes high-definition personal video cameras popular with action sports enthusiasts. The stock has risen 81% from its first-day trading low of $28.65.
iRadimed is a provider of non-magnetic IV infusion pump systems that can safely and predictably deliver anesthesia and other IV fluids during various MRI procedures safe for use during MRI procedures. iRadimed's stock has risen 81% since its first day trading low of $7.94.
IPO Date: July 17, 2014
Deal Value: $14.5 million
Offering Price: $6.25
Opening day low: $8.15
Price as of Feb. 4: $15.28
TubeMogul produces advertising technology software to play on the growing trend of digital advertising. Shares have risen 87% from its first-day trading low of $8.15.
Zafgen is a biopharmaceutical company developing treatment for severe obesity as a result of rare diseases, specifically from Prader-Willi syndrome and obesity caused by hypothalamic injury. The stock is up 92% from its first-day trading low of $19.23.
IPO Date: Jan. 29, 2014
Deal Value: $51 million
Offering Price: $8
Opening day low: $8.13
Price as of Feb. 4: $15.70
Nevro is a medical device company that develops and distributes high-frequency stimulation technology in the treatment of spinal cord chronic pain. The stock is up 98% since its first-day trading low of $23.13.
TriNet provides small and mid-sized businesses cloud-based HR solutions including automated expense reporting, applicant tracking, online learning library, performance management, time tracking and travel services, among other things. The stock is up 101% from its first-day trading low of $17.28.
Zendesk develops customer service software used by more than 48,000 clients across more than 150 countries and territories. The stock is up 117% from its first-day trading low of $11.06.
VBLT data by YCharts
Vascular Biogenics, an Israeli biotechnology company producing treatments for cancer and immune-inflammatory diseases. The stock is up 118% since its first-day trading low of $5.85.
Ocular Therapeutix is a biopharmaceutical company that develops and sells therapies for eye diseases and conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma and ocular hypertension. Shares are up 138% since its first-day trading low of $12.61.
4. Kite Pharma
IPO Date: June 19, 2014
Deal Value: $147 million
Offering Price: $17
Opening day low: $25.27
Price as of Feb. 4: $63.30
Kite Pharma is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing and selling cancer immunotherapy products, specifically T cell therapy products designed to restore the immune system's ability to recognize and eradicate tumors. The stock is up 150% since its first-day trading low of $25.27.
Alder Biopharmaceuticals is a clinical stage biopharma company developing treatments for migraine headaches, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases and other conditions. Shares have risen 153% since its first day trading low of $9.50.
2. Auspex Pharmaceuticals
IPO Date: Feb. 4, 2014
Deal Value: $97 million
Offering Price: $12
Opening day low: $13.25
Price as of Feb. 4: $59.15
Auspex Pharmaceuticals is a biopharma company developing medicines for the treatment of movement disorders and other rare movement diseases, including so-called orphan diseases, which affect fewer than 200,00 people in the U.S. The stock is up 346% from its first-day trading low of $13.25.
Radius Health is a biopharma company focused on developing treatments for osteoporosis and other serious endocrine-mediated diseases. Shares are up 479% from its first-day trading low of $8.
-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.