After a severe drop in 2022, tech stocks finally started to see a recovery in 2023. Stocks like Nvidia and Sea Limited have more than doubled from their December lows.

Although some other tech stocks appear stagnant, many laggards should eventually move higher themselves. This is good news for investors who have $5,000 to invest and hope it is not too late to buy. Among these likely late bloomers are SoFi Technologies (SOFI -0.80%), Snowflake (SNOW 0.01%), and Zscaler (ZS -0.96%)

1. SoFi Technologies

SoFi wants to be the "AWS [Amazon Web Services] of fintech." To this end, it has remade itself into a traditional bank that also embraces the fintech side of the business. It acquired a digital banking product suite called Galileo, and later, its purchase of Technisys enhanced Galileo's cloud capabilities.

Additionally, it recently purchased Wyndham Capital Mortgage in an all-cash deal. While that may seem counterintuitive given the collapse of banks like SVB Financial, the move will likely appear fortuitous once the current cycle of interest rate hikes ends.

Customers seem to have taken to its platform. In 2022, revenue grew 60% to $1.6 billion. The company continues to invest more in sales and marketing, and it spent heavily on technology and product development. While that led to costs and expenses exceeding revenue, SoFi reduced losses to $320 million, down from $484 million in 2021.

Still, for all this potential, SoFi is down 75% from its 2021 high and is only around $1.75 per share higher than its 52-week low. But with its 3.4 price-to-sales (P/S) ratio near historic lows, the consumer finance stock should eventually recover if it can maintain rapid revenue growth and reduce losses.

2. Snowflake

Despite competition from the biggest companies in tech, Snowflake has won attention and customers through its data cloud. It can store, secure, and manage data from one secure, cloud-based location, allowing companies to protect and control data. And because it maintains independence from the major cloud players, it offers a level of interoperability between cloud providers not provided by competing products.

During fiscal 2023 (ended Jan. 31), Snowflake grew its customer count by 31%. The average long-term customer increased spending on the platform by 58%, indicating the rising value proposition of its services. Additionally, it estimates an addressable market of $248 billion and has barely begun to cover that potential customer base.

In fiscal 2023, it earned $2.1 billion in revenue, a 69% increase year over year. But since costs and expenses rose faster than revenue, it reported a loss of $798 million, which was more than the $680 million lost in 2021.

Furthermore, the stock has risen 32% from its low last summer but dropped two-thirds from its all-time high in late 2020. The limitation to its growth is likely its valuation, as it still commands a 23 P/S ratio even after the massive drop in the stock price.

Nonetheless, the data management capabilities and interoperability Snowflake offers have attracted the attention of prospective clients and investors alike. That interest should lead to revenues climbing much higher over time, making a stock price recovery for the hot growth stock highly probable.

3. Zscaler

Zscaler is the cybersecurity company that pioneered "zero trust security." In other words, it treats everyone trying to access a network as a potential threat until proven otherwise. To allow access, it uses parameters such as devices, locations, and company rank. Access is also often restricted to a part of a network to mitigate the consequences of a possible data breach.

A growing revenue base is a sign of the platform's increasing popularity. In the first six months of fiscal 2023 (ended Jan. 31), revenue of $743 million surged 53% higher compared with the same period in fiscal 2022. Expenses did not grow as fast as revenue, allowing Zscaler to reduce losses during the period to $126 million, down from $191 million in the first half of fiscal 2022.

However, slowing growth in billings led to worries about maintaining its pace of revenue growth. This led to a sell-off in the stock, and it is within 5% of its 52-week low.

Still, its P/S ratio of 11 compares well with peers such as CrowdStrike and Palo Alto Networks, which trade at around 14 and 10 times sales, respectively. Moreover, since the cloud cannot function without adequate security, the need for secure networks should override worries about the economy in the end. That should foster a recovery in Zscaler as more customers work to secure their networks.