December 29, 2009
So the last week of December is often a time for formulating New Years Resolutions, predictions for next year, and the like. My prediction is hardly a bold one… that 2010 will be the year of the IPO, with many venture backed companies (and LBO’s, spin-offs, etc) going public.
Back in early May, I identified 15 companies in the IT / internet / digital media space that I thought would be IPO candidates when public equity markets normalized. I thought it would be interesting to revisit that list to see what’s happened with these companies. To be clear, my list certainly wasn’t an exhaustive one. Others in this broad software/internet sector have also filed (e.g. ReachLocal) and companies in cleantech, semiconductors, and biotech have gone public or filed here in the second half of the year (A123 Systems, Fortinet, Solyndra, Codexis, et al).
But back to my list of 15. Two of these have actually filed an S-1 at this point to go public: Quinstreet (in November) and GAIN Capital (in August). Two have raised IPO-like private investment rounds, Facebook and Zynga, both involving liquidity to existing shareholders and both reportedly closed at multi-billion dollar valuations. A further two have been involved in acquisition processes with Amazon, Zappos actually closed at nearly $1 billion earlier in the year and Vente Privee rumored in deep negotiations to be acquired for $2-4B (USD) here at the end of 2009.
That leaves nine companies from my original list: LinkedIn, Vantage Media, Demand Media, Xoom, Yandex, Kayak, Endeca, Big Fish Games, and TheLadders. In addition to Facebook and Zynga which remain private despite the large investment rounds, my prediction is that at least five of these companies (i.e. nearly half) will file to go public sometime in 2010.
Happy New Year and a prosperous 2010 to all.